Cardiff Blues 17 - 23 Dragons
Fri 26 December 14:05 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 10,900 Ref: Leighton Hodges Pro12

Hobbs hits hundred in Dragons derby

Wed 24 Dec 2014 11:55 Hobbs hits hundred in Dragons derby
Hobbs will hit the major milestone and become a centurion for the Blues as Director of Rugby Mark Hammett makes a number of changes to his starting line-up as he looks to manage and utilise his squad over the busy festive and New Year period.

A total of six new faces come into the starting line-up that went on to defeat Scarlets in the first derby encounter of the Christmas period, with hooker Matthew Rees returning to captain the side from the front row.

Former New Zealand international Jarrad Hoeata is declared fit to be named in the second row, where he will partner Lou Reed, while Ellis Jenkins is called in to wear the seven jersey with Sam Warburton ruled out with injury.

Gareth Davies starts the game at fly half, where he will link up with Lewis Jones at half back, and the final change sees a recall for Gavin Evans at inside centre.

Mark Hammett said: “We have to manage the squad and I’m looking at the two Dragons games together; it’s important we do. Whoever goes out on the field for us has the responsibility to win these matches and perform.

“We are aiming to secure wins while managing the group to get as much excitement on the park at one time.

“All games are crucial, we always prepare to win and we are looking forward to his derby in front of a big crowd at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.”

Centurion Hobbs admitted it would be a special occasion as he brought up his hundred on derby day – but added only a victory would be good enough on his milestone day.

Hobbs said: “You don’t really think about the milestone until it comes around. This is my home region, having come through the Academy and Pontypridd growing up, so making a hundred is something I will look back on with pride when I finish my career.

“It’s something I will cherish and it means a lot. But it will be massively disappointment if we don’t win. It’s all I want and I would swap all those games for a massive win.

“Beating Glasgow in Europe last year and being captain is my highlight of my time so far. We were written off before that game, but we won two games and it meant a huge amount. Hopefully the Dragons game can now be another major highlight.”

Terrace tickets remain on sale NOW for our Boxing Day fixture with Dragons at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. Click on www.cardiffblues.com/tickets to take your seat.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Lucas Amorosino, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones; 1 Sam Hobbs, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 3 Adam Jones, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Lou Reed, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 8 Josh Navidi

Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Adam Thomas