Dragons RFC 9 - 11 Cardiff Blues
Thu 01 January 14:05 Rodney Parade Att: 8,486 Ref: Ian Davies Pro12

Warburton back for New Year trip to Dragons

Wed 31 Dec 2014 11:55 Warburton back for New Year trip to Dragons
Fit-again Wales skipper Warburton is called up into the starting line-up and is one of eight changes to the side that lost to Dragons on Boxing Day.

A new-look front row will see Gethin Jenkins, Kristian Dacey and Taufa’ao Filise all pack down in Newport.

Samoa international lock Filo Paulo also returns to the team and is paired with Jarrad Hoeata in the second row.

A new half back pairing will see Gareth Anscombe and Tavis Knoyle, who both impressed off the bench in the first of the double-header between the two teams, combine to launch the New Year.

The final change sees a place for Richard Smith on the wing, with Alex Cuthbert missing the game after being given a scheduled playing break by the coaching team at Blues.

Hooker Matthew Rees is also named among the replacements for Blues and will make his 150th appearance in the PRO12 if he comes off the bench at Rodney Parade.

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett is relishing the second part of the derby double header with Dragons and said: “It’s all set up to be an incredible fixture.

“All derby games are crucial and it was a real experience and honour to see what it means in the first game.

“If it’s the same intensity at Rodney Parade as it was at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, it’s going to be very special again.

“I’ve been told it will be noisy at Newport, everything you would want and expect. It’s a good thing and you should embrace the diversity of when you travel. We are looking forward to a big game to kick-off 2015.”

Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Lucas Amorosino, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tavis Knoyle; 1 Gethin Jenkins (c), 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Josh Navidi

Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Adam Thomas