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Preview: Ospreys v Cardiff Blues

29th November 2012 13:35

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Cai Griffiths

Cai Griffiths: Starts at tighthead

Cai Griffiths starts at tighthead prop for the Ospreys after re-signing with the club on-loan against Cardiff Blues on Friday in Swansea.

"It's important that we show the right character and spirit after a disappointing second half showing in Edinburgh last weekend," said Ospreys boss Steve Tandy.

"We were extremely disappointed to come away with nothing and we know how crucial it us that we bounce back and put on the kind of performance that is expected from an Ospreys team this weekend.

"It's a massive game, a local derby and a chance to see some great young Welsh talent on both sides going head to head, with some real quality older players thrown into the blend.

"I'm really looking forward to the game. When you look through the teamsheet and see the quality of players that we have still available even when missing so many, it says a lot about the work we are doing here to bring through players."

Meanwhile, The Blues ended a four game losing run in the PRO12 with their 14-7 victory over Zebre in Italy on Sunday.

"It was a really good game against Zebre last weekend," said Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies.

"I thought we played very, very well and if we had been a bit more clinical we could have scored three or four more tries.

"We have said since the start of the season that we are in transition and we have a lot of young players coming through."

"What we have done over the last few months, although it has been painful at times with some of the results, is create some depth and given a lot of players opportunities.

"We have given opportunities to twelve or fourteen players many of whom are under the age of 22. This is good for us and the sort of experience we are gaining with them will help us on Friday night."

"We have a good chance against the Ospreys; they are in the same position as we are. It will be the next generation of stars on show and hopefully it will be an excellent game."

Form:Ospreys last seven games in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day. The Welshmen are unbeaten at Liberty Stadium since Glasgow Warriors were the visitors on 14 September. Ospreys have won their last four matches against fellow Welsh regions, and have lost only once at home to such a side since 2007.Cardiff Blues ended a four game losing run in the RaboDirect PRO12 with their 14-7 victory over Zebre in Italy on Sunday. The Blues only win over a rival Welsh region in their last seven encounters was 16-5 at the Dragons on 15 September. Ospreys are unbeaten in their last four fixtures with the Blues in all competitions, whilst the Cardiff based outfit have triumphed just once on Ospreys soil since the regions were formed in 2003: 28-9 at Liberty Stadium on 22 December 2005.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ross Jones, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i (c), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 George Stowers, 5 James King, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jonathan Spratt.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Owen Williams, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Andries Pretorius, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Jason Tovey.

Date: Friday, November 30
Kick-off: 19:05
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Referee: Leighton Hodges
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris, Wayne Davies
TMO: Paul Adams

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