After a two week break for the final stages of the Rugby World Cup, the RaboDirect PRO12 makes a welcome return.
Cardiff Blues take on a Connacht team who have won eight of their last nine games at the Sportsground in all competitions, the defeat being to the Blues, on 15 April 2011.
The Blues know it will be a difficult match having won just once in their last five visits to Ireland, but can take confidence from the fact that Connacht have only recorded one victory over the Blues since 2005.
The Blues welcome back Dan Parks and Taufa’ao Filise from the Rugby World Cup and there is also a welcome return for John Yapp who has recovered from his calf injury to make his first start of the season.
The front row is also boosted by the return of T Rhys Thomas who has recovered from his knee operation.
Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues Centre, Dafydd Hewitt said,
“It’s a massively important game for us.”
“We are fourth in the table at the moment so a little bit off where we would like to be, we hope this weekend we can better our position by putting in a good performance and getting a good win.”
“We started well with two bonus point wins and then slipped up a bit but managed to find our feet in Aironi.”
“Ulster was a tough game, they kicked us off the park and Munster territory wise they only got into our twenty two once and went away with the result.”
“We couldn’t capitalise on our field position which was disappointing”
“If we can get into the top three or four and cement our place then we will be happy.”
Connacht v Cardiff Blues, 6pm kick off, Saturday 29 October, at the Sportsground, live on S4C.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj 14 Alex Cuthbert 13 Casey Laulala 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks 9 Richie Rees
1 John Yapp, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 3 Taufaao Filise, 4 Michael Paterson, 5 Paul Tito , 6 Maama Molitika, 7 Josh Navidi , 8 Xavier Rush
Replacements: 16 Ryan Tyrrell 17 Sam Hobbs 18 Scott Andrews 19 Deiniol Jones 20 Ellis Jenkins 21 Lewis Jones 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Gavin Evans
Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy © , 14 Fetu’u Vainikolo, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Henry Fa’afili, 11 Tiernan O’Halloran, 10 Niall O’Connor, 09 Frank Murphy
1 Brett Wilkinson, 2 Adrian Flavin, 3 Rodney Ah You, 4 Michael Swift, 5 Mike McCarthy, 6 John Muldoon, 7 Johnny O’Connor, 8 Ray Ofisa
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Dylan Rogers, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 George Naoupu
, 21 Paul O’Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Brian Tuohy