The Cardiff Blues team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in the first of the festive Welsh derbies has been selected.
Cardiff Blues welcome back hooker T Rhys Thomas from shoulder injury, with the former Newport player starting in the front row, accompanied by John Yapp and Gethin Jenkins who captains the side.
Michael Paterson starts in the second row accompanying Bradley Davies while there is a totally new backrow. Tom Brown comes in at Number 8, for the suspended Xavier Rush, Sam Warburton starts at openside and Andries Pretorius at blindside.
Tom Slater will make his third Magners League start for the Blues at scrum half and is partnered by Dan Parks. Jamie Roberts makes his first start of the season, having come on at half time against Northampton Saints last weekend, and partners Casey Laulala in the centre. The back three remain unchanged.
On the bench the Blues welcome back Deiniol Jones who has returned from a fractured eye socket.
The Blues travel to Rodney Parade knowing that theDragons have won three of their last four games in the Magners League and have won three in a row at Rodney Parade in all competitions. However, they Blues have a good record having won the last eight encounters between the two sides.
15 Chris Czekaj 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks 9 Tom Slater
8 Tom Brown 7 Sam Warburton 6 Andries Pretorius 5 Michael Paterson 4 Bradley Davies 3 John Yapp 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
16 Rhys Williams 17 Taufa’ao Filise 18 Sam Hobbs 19 Deiniol Jones 20 Maama Molitika 21 Richie Rees 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Dafydd Hewitt