Following Wales’s magnificent win over Ireland in Dublin, sealed by Cardiff Blues favourite Leigh Halfpenny, Blues supporters can look forward to another round of matches against Irish opposition when they take on Connacht this Friday.
The match kicks off at 7.30pm and is not televised, so be sure to get your ticket to watch the action.
The Blues have won six out of seven of their last matches in Cardiff with their solitary loss a 19-23 defeat to table topping Leinster in the PRO12 on 7 January. They have also already recorded a victory over Connacht this season with a 26-20 win in Galway on 29 October.
Connacht’s long win drought ended with their impressive victory over Harlequins in the Heineken Cup. However, the Irishmen have not won away from home since the opening weekend of the season in Treviso. Connacht’s only win in their last dozen clashes with the Blues since 2005 was 18-16 at the Galway Sportsground on 18 September 2008.
The Blues complete their Triple Crown of Irish fixtures with a match against Ulster in Cardiff on Friday 19 February followed by a visit to Munster on Friday 24 February.
Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues backs coach, Gareth Baber, said:
“Within the period of time that the players have known about the fixture being played at the Arms Park it’s created a buzz, not only at our training venue, but with the supporters and in the media as well. So hopefully we will have a big crowd to watch the match.”
“We know it’s only for one match but it is nice to be back at a place where the players have had good results in the past and that’s given us a bit more motivation to get the victory this evening.”
Speaking of the opposition Baber added:
“Obviously Eric Elwood has taken over the reigns at Connacht this season and I don’t think there has been a huge change, in so much as they have been a good solid outfit for a number of years.”
“Everyone who has played out in Galway knows how difficult it is to get a victory out there.”
“They recruit well and get a lot of young players in and supplement that with southern hemisphere players.”
“It gives them a good style and probably away from home they could argue that they don’t get the results they deserve.”
Martyn Williams returns to the Blues side for the first time in 5 months having recovered from a broken arm, suffered against Ulster in Septmeber.
Cardiff Blues 15. Ben Blair 14. Richard Mustoe 13.Casey Laulala 12. Gavin Evans 11. Tom James 10. Ceri Sweeney 9. Richie Rees
8. Xavier Rush 7. Martyn Williams 6. Maama Molitika 5. Paul Tito (C) 4. Michael Paterson 3. Sam Hobbs 2. T Rhys Thomas 1. John Yapp
16. Ryan Tyrell 17. Nathan Trevett 18. Ryan Harford 19. Cory Hill 20. Macauley Cook 21. Lewis Jones 22. Gareth Davies 23. Tom Williams
Not available due to injury:
Fau Filise - shoulder
Dafydd Hewitt - hamstring
James Down - ankle
Andries Pretorius - knee
Deiniol Jones - shoulder