Edinburgh 17 - 18 Cardiff Blues
Fri 24 February 19:05 Myreside Att: 4,080 Ref: David Wilkinson Guinness Pro12

Preview: Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues

Fri 24 Feb 2017 11:08 Preview: Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues
Danny Wilson’s men stormed to a 57-20 victory over Benetton Treviso last week, scoring eight tries in the process.

Two changes have been made to the Cardiff Blues starting line-up, with Tom James and Anton Peikrishvili returning to replace Blaine Scully and Taufa’ao Filise respectively. 

Scrum-half Lloyd Williams continues to serve as captain, while Sion Bennett remains in the openside position, with Sam Warburton, Ellis Jenkins and Josh Navidi unavailable for selection.

Meanwhile, the home side have named former Cardiff Blues outside half, Jason Tovey, in the number 10 jersey, who will be partnered by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne at half-back. 

Further changes from last week’s 39-10 defeat to Leinster sees Blair Kinghorn and Rory Scholes come into the back three, with the pack unchanged.

What They Said

The Blues currently sit eight points adrift from sixth spot and have targeted three wins from the current block of four Guinness PRO12 fixtures.

Wilson has emphasised the importance of the clash, in order to keep their European Champions Cup qualifying hopes alive:

"The top six has to be our goal, we got five points on the weekend and we know from this block of four games we need to win three to give ourselves any opportunity and four out of four in an ideal world,” said Wilson.

"Obviously the Connacht game didn't go to plan and we have to win the next two games to have any chance. 

"We proved at the start of the year with consistency of squad selection, and players we've recruited, being available to us that we can beat anyone on our day."

Meanwhile, Steven Shingler expects a different challenge for the Cardiff Blues attack this week, and insists his side will continue to fight for a top six finish. 

“If you look at that second half, we played much wider which suited that game, but with Edinburgh around the corner, we’re expecting a completely different type of defence, so it’s horses for courses. But when you start swinging around and scoring some tries it’s enjoyable.

“Mathematically the top six is still within reach and as long as we can do that it’s going to be our aim. It was the aim from the start of the season, and obviously we’ve left ourselves in a situation where it’s going to be difficult, but it is still achievable so we’ll go to Edinburgh looking to win and then take on Munster before the break.

“Those are two big games coming up and the focus is to pick up as many points as possible and clib up that table.”

Edinburgh Rugby: Blair Kinghorn; Damien Hoyland, Glenn Bryce, Chris Dean, Rory Scholes; Jason Tovey, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Jack Cosgrove, Neil Cochrane (C), Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Cornell Du Preez

Replacements: George Turner, Derrick Appiah, Kevin Bryce, Grant Gilchrist, Lewis Carmichael, Nathan Fowles, Junior Rasolea, Michael Allen

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Willis Halaholo, Steven Shingler, Tom James; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams (C); Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Anton Peikrishvili, George Earle, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Nick Williams

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Corey Domachowski, Scott Andrews, James Down, Kirby Myhill, Tomos Williams, Garyn Smith, Aled Summerhill