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Preview: Cardiff v Glasgow

30th September 2011 11:33

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Glasgow Warriors recent signing Rob Verbakel

Glasgow Warriors debut: Rob Verbakel

Cardiff Blues have made five changes to their side for Saturday's home Pro 12 clash with Glasgow Warriors

Chris Czekaj returns to full-back having recovered from a shoulder injury, while Tom James returns to the wing having overcome his calf problem. There are two other changes in the backs with Casey Laulala and Lewis Jones starting, with Dafydd Hewitt and Richie Rees on the bench.

There is one change in the forwards with Rhys Williams starting at hooker in place of the injured T Rhys Thomas who underwent surgery on his knee and is likely to be out for four to six weeks.

Meanwhile, Glagow return to the Welsh capital almost exactly two years to the day since they emerged victorious on their first visit to the Cardiff City Stadium.

Sean Lineen's team are looking to put the disappointment of last week's narrow home defeat to Benetton Treviso well behind them, and add a Welsh scalp to the Leinster one landed in Dublin a fortnight ago.

The Warriors will take confidence from memories of the fantastic 21-9 success recorded at Cardiff City Stadium on 3 October 2009.

One of the Glasgow try scorers that day, Johnnie Beattie, will make his first start of the season on Saturday, having had a 22-minute run-out off the bench in the Treviso game.

That change (Beattie replacing Ryan Wilson at number eight 8) is one of nine made by Lineen for the trip to southern Wales, the head coach having taken the opportunity to freshen up his side.

Kiwi lock Rob Verbakel, recently arrived in Scotland after playing a key role in Otago's ITM Cup campaign, is to make his debut in the boiler house. An all-new front row will see Gordon Reid make a first competitive Warriors start at loose-head, Finlay Gillies return to the hooker berth, and Mike Cusack come back in at tight-head.

In the back row, meanwhile, captain Rob Harley moves from blindside flanker to the openside, with James Eddie set to don the number six jersey.

In the backs, Colin Gregor comes in for Henry Pyrgos at scrum-half, and Tommy Seymour makes a first start on the wing since suffering a back injury in the wake of the opening night trip to Ulster. Rob Dewey will begin the game at outside centre, a role he was due to perform against Treviso before being forced to withdraw shortly before kick-off because of a tight groin.

"Everyone at the club was hugely disappointed with how we followed up that great win against Leinster, and I'm confident we'll see the fruits of that frustration in Cardiff on Saturday night," Lineen told the Glasgow website.

"There's been a real edge to training all week, and a clear understanding from the players that, against Treviso, they fell well short of the standards they set themselves in Dublin.

On the changes to his starting XV, Lineen said: "We've had four really tough, physical battles to start the season, and we feel it's the right time to shuffle our pack and give guys who have been knocking on the door an opportunity to show their worth.

"I've been very pleased with how Rob Verbakel has integrated into the group in the couple of weeks he's been here, and his partnership with Tom Ryder will hopefully bring a lot to our game. Nick Campbell has been excellent in the second row, but he's still young and we need to manage his workload carefully so that we get the best out of him over the course of the season."

Form: Cardiff Blues have recorded back to back losses in the RaboDirect PRO12, to Ulster and Munster. The Blues have won their last eight encounters with Scottish opponents in all competitions. Glasgow Warriors' only victory in their last seven matches was 23-19 at Leinster in round 3. The target now is to record successive away wins for the first time since the New Year 2010. The Warriors have not won in Wales in the competition since they visited Scarlets in May 2010. Blues have won their last three encounters with Glasgow, whilst the Warriors have at least been victorious at the new Cardiff City Stadium: 21-5 in October 2009.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Maama Molitika, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Deiniol Jones, 4 Paul Tito ( c), 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Ieuan Davies, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 James Down, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Rob Dewey, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Colin Gregor, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Rob Harley (c), 6 James Eddie, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Rob Verbakel, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Finlay Gillies, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Rory Pitman, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Alex Dunbar, 23 Peter Horne.

Date: Saturday, October 1
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Kick-off: 18.30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)

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Saturday , October 25
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Friday , October 31
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Friday , November 21
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Sunday , November 30
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Glasgow vs Munster14:40
Saturday , December 27
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Glasgow vs Scarlets19:35
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Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
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Ulster 29 - 9 GlasgowUlster vs Glasgow Report
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Benetton Treviso 23 - 40 Glasgow
Friday , September 26
Glasgow 39 - 21 Connacht
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Sunday , September 14
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Saturday , September 6
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PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors15
2Toulouse14
3Montpellier11
4Bath10