Planet Rugby

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Dragons

26th December 2009 15:50


Tom James v Toulouse

Tom James: Back in action

Cardiff Blues winger Tom James has recovered from his groin injury to make the starting XV for Blues v Dragons clash selected by Blues coach Dai Young.

In other changes from last week's Heineken Cup defeat in Toulouse, Richard Mustoe swaps wings to allow James to replace Leigh Halfpenny, while scrum-half Richie Rees starts ahead of Gareth Cooper.

Young starlet Sam Warburton is preferred ahead of Andy Powell on the blindside and there's a complete change in the second row where Scott Morgan and Brad Davies replace Paul Tito and Deiniol Jones respectively.

Welsh international hoker T Rhys Thomas is in at hooker ahead of Gareth Williams.

For the Dragons, there are several changes to the team that fell at home to Biarritz last week, with Jason Tovey and Rhodri Gomer-Davies the new faces in the back line.

Lewis Evans gets a start at number eight, and there's an all-new front row of Pat Palmer, Tom Willis - back from injury to lead the team - and Hugh Gustafson.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Sam Norton-Knight, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Taufa'au Filise, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c).
Replacements: 16 Gareth Williams, 17 Gary Powell, 18 Paul Tito, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Gareth Cooper, 21 Ceri Sweeney, 22 Gareth Thomas.

Dragons: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Rhodri Gomer-Davies, 12 Tom Riley, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Danny Lee, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Hoani MacDonald, 3 Patrick Palmer, 2 Tom Willis (Captain), 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Peter Bracken, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Grant Webb, 20 Will Harries, 21 Matthew Watkins, 22 Gareth Williams.

Date: Sunday, December 27
Venue: City of Cardiff Stadium
Kick-off: 18.00 GMT
Referee: James Jones
Assistant referees: Hugh Watkins, Huw David
Television match official: Tony Rowlands

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