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Cardiff Blues

  • Copeland, Robinson,
    Penalty goals: Patchell (4),
22 - 26

Connacht

  • Faloon (2), Poolman,
    Penalty goals: Nikora (2), Vainikolo,
    Conversions: Nikora,

Cardiff Blues v Connacht - RaboDirect PRO12 preview

Last updated: 21st February 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gavin Duffy Connaught Rugby

Gavin Duffy: Will start at full-back for Connacht

Chris Czekaj in action for Cardiff Blues

Chris Czekaj: Makes his first start for the Blues this season

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Cardiff Blues have named full-back Chris Czekaj in their starting line-up for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Connacht at the Arms Park.

Czekaj makes his first start for the Blues this season having recovered from a foot injury, suffered against Worcester in pre-season.

The Blues take on a Connacht team that beat Ospreys 22-10 in Round 15 but have not won back-to-back contests in the tournament since April. The Irishmen's only away win in the PRO12 this season remains the win at Zebre in Round 2.

Cardiff's last three games in the PRO12 have remarkably all been won by the away side on the day but they have a strong record against the Irish side with Connacht having won just two in their 19 previous matches with the Blues, both in Galway.

Meanwhile, Connacht have made four changes to the team that beat Ospreys last week.

While Robbie Henshaw remains in Ireland camp, fit-again skipper Gavin Duffy, who earned his 150th Connacht cap last week, will start at full-back on Friday.

Fetu'u Vainikolo is named on the wing, replacing Tiernan O'Halloran who suffered a knee injury against Ospreys.

With centres Dave McSharry (groin) and Kyle Tonetti (shoulder) both unavailable, 27-year-old Brian Murphy will start at inside centre.

Meanwhile, there is just one change up front with Andrew Browne replacing Mick Kearney in the second-row.

Recent returnee from injury Denis Buckley is named on the bench as well as replacement back-rower TJ Anderson.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Gavin Evans (c), 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Rory Watts-Jones, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Jason Tovey.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Brian Murphy, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 TJ Anderson, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Matthew Jarvis.

What they said...

Cardiff Blues Director of rugby Phil Davies

"It was good to get the result up in Scotland last week against Edinburgh. We played well and our defence was strong.

"We've built our performances and had some good results since the start of the year.

"We want to continue building on that and gather some momentum.

"I'm sure that Connacht will be a tough encounter for us.

"They are a good team; a very direct side who kick well and run hard.

"Our defence will have to be up to the mark and our back three I'm sure will have a busy night.

"Former Blues fly half, Dan Parks, I'm sure will be a threat. He is a quality player and I know him well, being the first coach to bring him to the UK when I was coaching Leeds.

"He came over for eight games and did an excellent job. He was a great distributor and a running fly half. He was always a good goal kicker and his game has evolved a lot since he arrived."

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - May 10 2014
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 22 29
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 5th September
Guinness PRO12
19:35Munster vs Edinburgh
19:35Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Saturday 6th September
14:40Scarlets vs Ulster
17:00Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Glasgow vs Leinster
Sunday 7th September
17:00Zebre vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 12th September
19:35Ulster vs Zebre
19:35Edinburgh vs Connacht
19:35Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys
20:00Benetton Treviso vs Munster
Saturday 13th September
14:40Leinster vs Scarlets
Sunday 14th September
16:00Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow
Friday 19th September
19:30Munster vs Zebre
19:35Connacht vs Leinster
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Ulster
Saturday 20th September
TBCScarlets vs Benetton Treviso
14:40Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow
Sunday 21st September
16:00Ospreys vs Edinburgh
Friday 26th September
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
Saturday 27th September
16:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh

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