Cardiff Blues return to RaboDirect PRO12 action this week when they take on Aironi on Thursday 24 November, 7.30pm kick off.
The Blues have won their last two games in the RaboDirect PRO12, but both were played away from home. At Cardiff City Stadium the Blues have lost their last two in this competition and will aim to rectify that trend against Aironi.
Aironi Rugby’s last two encounters in the RaboDirect PRO12, against Munster and Glasgow, both were tryless games which ended in 6-18 defeats. The two teams have already met this season, with Blues winning 37-26 in Viadana in round six.
Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues backs coach, Gareth Baber, said,
“When we went out to Italy in October to face Aironi both teams wanted to play open rugby and it was a nice, fine afternoon which allowed both teams to play a running game.”
“The weather at the moment might mean we have to deicide to play a slightly different game,” added Baber.
“Aironi are a physical side and although they scored four tries in our last encounter, two of them came from scrums on our five metre line and one was from a driving lineout.”
“That gives you an indication of how they build their game and where they feel their strength lies.”
“I think that this game will be a physical, competitive one again and we are going to have our wits about us to allow us to get want we need.”
15 Chris Czekaj 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gavin Evans 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks 9 Richie Rees
8 Maama Molitika 7 Josh Navidi 6 Michael Paterson 5 Paul Tito (C) 4 Cory Hill 3 Taufaao Filise 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 John Yapp
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze 17 Nathan Trevett 18 Sam Hobbs 19 Macauley Cook 20 Ellis Jenkins 21 Lewis Jones 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Casey Laulala
15 Ruggero Trevisan; 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Sinoti Sinoti, 12 Gilberto Pavan, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti; 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tito Tebaldi;
8 Josh Sole, 7 Filippo Ferrarini, 6 Nicola Cattina; 5 George Biagi, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (cap); 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Tommaso D’Apice, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Frans Viljoen, 21 Tyson Keats, 22 Roberto Quartaroli, 23 Matteo Pratichetti.
Not available due to injury
Xavier Rush – back
Andries Pretorius – knee
Deiniol Jones – shoulder
Martyn Williams – arm
Gavin Henson – wrist
Kristian Dacey – shoulder