Cardiff Blues 43 - 29 Dragons
Fri 06 October 19:35 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 8,178 Ref: Nigel Owens Guinness Pro14

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Dragons

Fri 6 Oct 2017 12:59 Preview: Cardiff Blues v Dragons
Following a win against Connacht a fortnight ago, Danny Wilson's side couldn't make it back-to-back victories in Ireland, with Munster running away winners at Thomond Park.
 
But tonight, the Blues will be aiming to pick up their fifth consecutive victory over their East Wales rivals, and could potentially climb up to fourth place in Conference A. Both sides will also look to build momentum ahead of the European Challenge Cup opener next weekend.
 
Seven changes have been made from the defeat in Limerick, with Lloyd Williams returning at scrum-half, and is named skipper.
 
The other changes among the back-line sees Rey Lee-Lo and Alex Cuthbert return, having missed last week's game at Thomond Park. 
 
There are four changes made in the pack, with Kristian Dacey, Seb Davies, Damian Welch and Josh Navidi named in the starting XV for the first time since the win over Connacht.
 
Dragons, meanwhile, hampered by a list of 29 injured players, have made just one change to the side that beat Southern Kings last week, with Wales U20's wing Jared Rosser making his first start for the region.
 
Hallam Amos and Elliot Dee, who have been Dragons' in-form players in the early stages of the season, are both included in the starting XV, as does former Cardiff Blues player, Gavin Henson, who lines-up at outside half.
 
The second row is made up of former Blues academy products, Matthew Screech and Cory Hill, who captains the side, while hooker Liam Belcher, who made the move down the M4 over the summer, could make his debut for Bernard Jackman's side off the bench.

What They Said

Danny Wilson is expecting a typically feisty affair between the rival sides and insists his side will have to be at their best to come out on top against a gritty and determined Dragons side.

"I fully respect what they've been doing there but we focus on ourselves," said Wilson.

"We've got a reasonably good record against them so far but we know exactly what it's going to take to beat a gritty Dragons side at home, and we're under no illusions.

"It's a Welsh derby. It's got enough edge and spice to it, as they always have, and I'm sure it will be an excellent game on Friday night.

"I've been impressed with the way they've performed. They've picked up two good wins at home, are playing some good rugby and there are some young players that have come through and started to become established players at the Dragons.

"It's happened right through Lyn's time there, Kingsley's time and there are some good players coming through and they're playing some decent rugby."
 
Meanwhile, Nick Williams says that he thrives from playing in the big games and is looking forward to make his talking on the pitch.

 "I am ready for a big battle. We all know derbies are about physicality.

"It's why we travel half way across the world and leave our loved ones is to play in big games and Friday night is going to be no different.

"If you were them, you would think we are prime targets. They will be gunning for us. 

"They will be disappointed we got the double over them last year. They weren't our most convincing win but a win is a win, especially in a derby and we will be looking to do the same again this year.

"But I am a big believer in saving my chat for the action on the weekend. You guys will see that on Friday."
 
Cardiff Blues: Rhun Williams; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Tom James; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams (C); Brad Thyer, Kristian Dacey, Taufa'ao Filise, Seb Davies, Damian Welch, Josh Navidi, Olly Robinson, Nick Williams

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Corey Domachowski, Keiron Assiratti, James Down, Josh Turnbull, Tomos Williams, Steven Shingler, Matthew Morgan

Dragons: Hallam Amos; Ashton Hewitt, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser; Gavin Henson, Sarel Pretorius; Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill (C), James Thomas, Ollie Griffiths, James Benjamin

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Luke Garrett, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, Aaron Wainwright, Owain Leonard, Angus O'Brien, Will Talbot-Davies