Planet Rugby

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)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821