Down returns for Blues against Scarlets

Guinness PRO12 Editor

23 Mar 2012


Cardiff Blues second row forward James Down has recovered from a fracture dislocation of his ankle to make his first start since Racing Metro in November.

The Blues also welcome back Grand Slam heroes Alex Cuthbert and Lloyd Williams to the side following their heroics against France last Saturday.

The derby match kicks off at 6.30pm, however, the Heineken Fan Zone will be open from 5.00pm and the Grand Slam and Triple Crown trophies will be present allowing supporters to have their photos taken with the silverware.

With Gethin Jenkins, Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Bradley Davies and Sam Warburton not in action, there will be an opportunity for supporters to meet the rugby heroes at the Heineken Fan Zone between 5.30pm to 6.15pm.

Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins are both out with shoulder injuries while Leigh Halfpenny is out with a dead leg. Jamie Roberts has been rested while Bradley Davies is suspended.

On the pitch the Blues have lost just one home game in any competition since October and take on a Scarlets side who have won back to back matches in the PRO12, at home to Treviso and Connacht. It is a crucial game for both teams who are locked on 45 points, two points behind the play off places.

Speaking ahead of the match, Cardiff Blues backs coach Gareth Baber said,

“The Scarlets have a good blend of youth and experience.”

“They work hard for each other, have a good work ethic and work hard around the field to create opportunities, so we know it’s going to be a difficult match but we are ready for the challenge.”

“Players from both teams contributed significantly to the Wales team success and we have looked at these returning international players individually to see where they are mentally and physically.”

“It is important to get them back into our set up and get them comfortable in what we are doing again. Then hopefully they can go out and perform, pushing the potential of the squad.”

“Now that we are entering the business end of the season the competition level rises and everybody is fighting for positions in the starting XV.”

“That is what you want as a coach; you want people competing and pushing each other hard.”

“Ultimately the players know, although they may not like it sometimes, that there can only be 15 people that can be on the field and we are picking the team that will get the victory.”

Tickets for the match cost just £22 for adults and £10 for under 16's and can be purchased online at

Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
Cardiff City Stadium, Saturday 24 March, 6.30pm

Cardiff Blues 15. Ben Blair 14. Alex Cuthbert 13. Casey Laulala 12. Dafydd Hewitt 11. Tom James 10. Dan Parks 9. Lloyd Williams

8. Xavier Rush (c) 7. Josh Navidi 6. Michael Paterson 5. James Down 4. Macualey Cook 3. Scott Andrews 2. Ryan Tyrell 1. John Yapp

16. Marc Breeze 17. Nathan Trevett 18. Sam Hobbs 19. Cory Hill 20. Maama Molitika 21. Richie Rees 22. Ceri Sweeney 23. Chris Czekaj

Players unavailable for selection

Leigh halfpenny – dead leg
Gethin Jenkins – shoulder.
Sam Warburton – shoulder
T Rhys Thomas – neck
Martyn Williams – ribs
Paul Tito – Head
Richard Mustoe – hip
Fau Filise – shoulder
Andries Pretorius – knee
Deiniol Jones – shoulders
Bradley Davies – suspended


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