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Cardiff v Glasgow - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Cardiff Blues welcome Leigh Halfpenny back from injury for their RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Glasgow Warriors.
Saturday's game at the Arms Park sees the Wales international return to the side after an absence due to injury as the Blues look to bounce back from last week's hammering against Ulster.
Glasgow achieved the double over the Blues for the very first time last season and are going for an unprecedented third straight win over the Welshmen.
Gregor Townsend's starting XV for the game shows nine changes from that which ran out in their recent win over Zebre.
Behind the scrum, Peter Murchie comes in at full-back for his 50th appearance in a Warriors jersey, Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne resume their centre pairing, Sean Lamont replaces hamstring injury victim DTH van der Merwe on the left wing and Henry Pyrgos starts at scrum-half.
Up front, Dougie Hall slots in at hooker, captain Al Kellock comes into the second-row, John Barclay starts at openside and Ryan Wilson dons the number eight jersey. New signing Josh Strauss, who made his debut against Zebre, moves across the back-row to blindside flanker as a result.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 Lou Reed, 4 James Down, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dan Fish.
Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (capt), 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gillies, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 Ryan Grant, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Byron McGuigan, 23 Stuart Hogg.
What they said...
Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies
"This week it is about tightening up the defence, ensuring we make our one on one tackles effectively and continue to build our set piece.
"We also need to get our scrum more consistent. Overall it is important to ensure the consistency is there and that we are more clinical.
"It is important to encourage the players to play positive rugby; like when you see Tom James or Alex Cuthbert breaking from the back and getting the crowd on their feet.
"As a coach you have to be objective and keep the players feeling as if they are moving forward."
Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend
"It's a sign of the strength in depth we have at the club this year that despite having 10 key players injured, I firmly believe we're sending out a very strong side this week," Townsend told glasgowwarriors.org.
"A number of players who got an opportunity in the team last week certainly underlined their capabilities, and those who are coming back in this weekend know they need to maintain high standards.
"Having that level of competition is great for everyone, and ensures that there is always a real edge to our work both in preparation and out there on the pitch.
"I'm delighted for Peter Murchie that he's reaching 50 appearances this week. Tom Ryder did likewise against Zebre, and they're two of our most consistent players who work extremely hard at their game."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 27th February|
|19:35||Ospreys vs Leinster|
|19:35||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 28th February|
|19:15||Munster vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Sunday 1st March|
|12:45||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|17:00||Zebre vs Dragons|
|17:15||Connacht vs Treviso|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Zebre 7 - 31 Munster|
|Cardiff Blues 13 - 22 Leinster|
|Friday 9th January|
|Connacht 13 - 16 Edinburgh|
|Glasgow 22 - 7 Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com