Cardiff Blues have named their side to face Edinburgh at Murrayfield for their first competitive match of the season
The Blues travel to Edinburgh for their opening match of the RaboDirect Pro12 missing 8 players to the World Cup. Gethin Jenkins, Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Lloyd Williams, Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny have all been selected in the Wales squad while prop forward Fau Filise is with Tonga and Dan Parks with Scotland.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s match Cardiff Blues forwards coach Justin Burnell said,
“It’s going to work in two ways, it’s going to affect team performance because some of our better players will be at the World Cup, but on the other hand it gives us the opportunity to look at our younger players and perhaps some other players that have been vying to get that first team spot.”
“I think it’s going to be a plus in many ways and quite exciting. These players will have the opportunity, depending on how quickly they can step up to the mark.”
“We have lost eight players, six Welsh players, one Scottish and one Tongan. I think when I’ve looked at some of the squads there has been an average of 8 to 10 players missing across the board from those bigger teams.”
“I imagine it’s going to be about strength in depth of the teams and who has the best development programme that come to the fore.”
Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh met on four occasions in 2010/11 with the Blues victorious in each instance. This is the third straight year that Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues have clashed in round one and the Blues have an impressive won 5, lost 3 record at Murrayfield in all competitions.
“We are of course within an environment where we are looking at the first six weeks block,” added Burnell.
“We have six games before going into the LV=Cup we are hoping to be successful in those games and then to go into the LV=Cup with a bit of momentum.”
15. Chris Czekaj 14. Richard Mustoe 13. Casey Laulala 12. Gavin Evans 11. Tom James 10. Ceri Sweeney 9. Richie Rees
8. Andries Pertorius 7. Martyn Williams 6. Michael Paterson 5. Deiniol Jones 4. James Down 3. Scott Andrews 2. T Rhys Thomas ( c ) 1. Sam Hobbs
16. Rhys Williams 17. Nathan Trevett 18. Ryan Harford 19. Paul Tito 20. Maama Molitika 21. Lewis Jones 22. Gareth Davies 23. Dafydd Hewitt
Unavailable because of injury
Xavier Rush – Hernia
Ben Blair – Knee
Unavailable because of RWC
Gethin Jenkins, Bradley Davies , Sam Warburton, Lloyd Williams, Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny