Jones, Rush and Rees return for Cardiff Blues Connacht cla

David Young has selected a twenty-two man squad that sees Deiniol Jones, Xavier Rush and Richie Rees all return from injury for Friday night’s clash against Connacht at the Arms Park, 7.05pm kick off.

Friday night’s match will also see John Yapp make his first start for the team at loose-head, although Yapp will continue to train at tight-head, where it is hoped he will develop over the long term. Gethin Jenkins suffered a minor injury to his neck in last weekend’s match.

Cardiff Blues hooker, Gareth Williams suffered a deep cut on his head in the match against Munster last Saturday, which means young Blues Academy and Pontypridd hooker Rhys Williams has a place on the bench.

Ben Blair is rested after starting every game for the Blues this season, which gives young prospect Leigh Halfpenny the chance to shine at full back having impressed on the wing in the match against Ulster.

Speaking ahead of the match David Young said,

“We have to build on our Munster performance and put away any opportunities we may have on Friday. We were better against Munster but in the first three games we were getting ourselves in position and not scoring the points. I felt against Leinster and Ulster if we had gone two scores in front, we would have kicked on and won those games comfortably.”

“We know it won’t be easy, as Connacht always deliver a very honest, workmanlike performance, with players really playing their hearts out for each other. They are also very well organised by their coaching staff. There’s plenty of variation in their game but I’d like to think, physically and skills wise, we’d have the edge on them.”

Cardiff Blues starting XV:

15 Leigh Halfpenny
14 Richard Mustoe
13 Jamie Robinson
12 Jamie Roberts
11 Gareth Thomas
10 Ceri Sweeney
9 Jason Spice

8 Andy Powell
7 Robin Sowden Taylor
6 Maama Molitika
5 Paul Tito (c)
4 Deiniol Jones
3 Gary Powell
2 T. Rhys Thomas
1 John Yapp


16 Taufa’ao Filise
17 Rhys Williams
18 Scott Morgan
19 Xavier Rush
20 Richie Rees
21 Nicky Robinson
22 Tom Shanklin

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