Czekaj makes his first start for the Blues this season having recovered from a foot injury, suffered against Worcester in a pre season friendly in August.
The Blues take on a Connacht team that beat Ospreys 22-10 in Galway 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 victory at Zebre in round two.
Cardiff Blues last three games in the RaboDirect PRO12 have remarkably all been won by the away side on the day but they have a strong record against the Irish province with Connacht having won just two in their 19 previous matches with the Blues, both in Galway.
Connacht’s only win at the Arms Park was 6-3 over Cardiff RFC on 18 August 2001.
Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby Phil Davies said,
“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.
Cardiff Blues have an incredible shirt and ticket package for this non-televised match. Supporters can purchase a terrace ticket and a Cardiff Blues home or away jersey for only £30. Cardiff Blues Supporters can claim this fantastic deal over the phone by calling 029 20 302030, in person at the Arms Park Ticket office or online at www.cardiffblues.com/tickets
An exclusive season ticket offer is also available for this match. Blues season ticket holders can purchase a home or away jersey for only £15. To claim this offer simply show your season ticket at the point of purchase in the Arms Park shop.
There will also be plenty of activities off the pitch with live music, player signings and face painting in our Heineken Fan Zone. Our Heineken Fan Zone opens 90 minutes before kick off and remains open an hour after the final whistle. Don't miss out on this fantastic shirt and ticket offer!
Terms and Conditions
• Offer applies to adult terraced tickets only
• Offer available until kick off
• Offer applies to adult home or away Blues jerseys
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
16 Rhys Williams 17 Nathan Trevett 18 Scott Andrews 19 Luke Hamilton 20 Thomas Young 21 Liam Davies 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Jason Tovey
Not available for selection:
Josh Navidi – Hamstring strain
Andries Pretorius – Shoulder injury seeing specialist this week
Dafydd Hewitt- Fractured cheeckbone, back mid March
Andi Kyriacou- Neck operation, seeing specialist in March
Cory Hill- Ankle sprain
Dan Fish- Suffered shoulder nerve palsy in match against Zebre, return late April
Tom James- Fractured sesamoid (big toe) return mid March
Tom Davies- ACL knee reconstruction, back in March
Tom Williams- Shoulder dislocation, back in May