Planet Rugby

Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Dragons

24th December 2012 12:10

Share:

Andries Pretorius Cardiff Blues

Number eight: Andries Pretorius

Cardiff Blues have made five changes in the forwards for their Boxing Day PRO12 match against the Dragons.

There are two changes in the front-row with Rhys Williams coming in for Marc Breeze who suffered a finger injury against Scarlets. The other change sees Sam Hobbs replace Taufa'ao Filise.

Lou Reed replaces James Down in the second-row and Robin Copeland replaces Josh Navidi.

Cardiff Blues' only victory in their last seven RaboDirect PRO12 matches was 14-7 against Zebre in Parma on 25 November and they take on a Dragons side who have won three of their last four encounters in all tournaments.

However, the Dragons' solitary win against Blues in Cardiff remains 25-13 on 7 November 2003.

"We can expect a tough game against our visitors the Dragons and a lot of people are saying it has added significance for Heineken Cup qualification, but we as a team have to treat it as just another game, as it's a long old season," said director of rugby Phil Davies.

"Obviously it's a very important game, as it's a derby match and there are local bragging rights at stake, however, it's just one more game. We had a tight result against the Dragons earlier on in the year so it's important that we don't underestimate them.

"There are some top players at the Dragons. Whatever team Darren Edwards and Rob Appleyard prepare will be extremely competitive. They are very good rugby men, very knowledgeable, and that will help their cause I'm sure. However, we have to concentrate on what we are doing."

Meanwhile, Toby Faletau adds his international experience to the men of Gwent as he returns to start alongside Will Harries, Andy Tuilagi, Phil Price and Nic Cudd.

A new-look back-row sees skipper Lewis Evans move to blindside whilst Nic Cudd starts at openside; Faletau then finishes off the trio at number eight, after returning to the squad.

Hooker Sam Parry gets the nod for the fixture, after an impressive first 40 minutes against Mogliano at Rodney Parade. Parry was taken off at half time, after suffering a dead leg but has now recovered to start in the Christmas Derby in Cardiff.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Robin Copeland, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 James Down, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Richard Smith.

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (capt), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jack Dixon.

Date: Wednesday, December 26
Kick-off: 14:05
Venue: Arms Park
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)
Citing Commissioner: John Charles (Wales)

  • Cardiff Blues Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets15:00
Saturday , November 8
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Sunday , October 12
Ospreys vs Cardiff Blues16:00
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Sunday , November 23
Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues16:00
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Friday , December 19
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets19:35
Friday , December 26
Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons14:05
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 18
Cardiff Blues vs Grenoble14:30
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Cardiff Blues Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
Friday , September 19
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Sunday , September 14
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 Glasgow
Sunday , September 7
Zebre 26 - 41 Cardiff Blues
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611