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10 changes for return to PRO14 action

23rd November 2017

Cardiff Blues have made 10 changes for their return to Guinness PRO14 action against Connacht on Friday night (7.35pm).

Following two weeks of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, the Blues will be looking to continue their PRO14 form by completing a double over the Irish province.
Head coach Danny Wilson has made wholesale changes for the clash due to a combination of players returning and others suffering injury.
Jarrod Evans returns from a broken nose to partner Tomos Williams at half-back, while Willis Halaholo and Garyn Smith reform their burgeoning midfield partnership. Matthew Morgan starts at full-back with Owen Lane, who makes his PRO14 debut, and Tom James on the wings.
In the pack, Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees and Taufa’ao Filise all come back in the front-row, while Olly Robinson and Nick Williams return to the back-row following two weeks off. 
The Blues edged to a last-gasp 17-15 win over Connacht in September and can leap-frog the Galway-based province with victory at the Arms Park.
But Wilson is under no illusions of the magnitude of the challenge ahead and insists there is plenty at stake as the race for European qualification heats up.
Wilson said: "We kick started our season off the back of the win against Connacht in September, and they'll be wanting to get revenge.
"That was a good win and a bit of a milestone for my time here, having not beating them away before then, it has to be matched with a home win.
"We've put pressure on ourselves to go after the home win and Championship-wise it will move us up to fourth, and into the qualification area that we want to be in.
"There's a real scrap for the places in the table, where one or two wins and the whole Conference picture can change very quickly. 

"There's lots to play for, lots of motivation and it's a Friday night game at home. Hopefully off the back of a bonus point win against Zebre, and a really pleasing performance, we can go again and do the same.”
 Following his return to action last week, Gareth Anscombe takes his place on the bench, with Josh Turnbull recalled back into the matchday squad and is also named amongst the replacements.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Owen Lane, Garyn Smith, Willis Halaholo, Tom James; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees (capt), Taufa'ao Filise, George Earle, Damian Welch, Macauley Cook, Olly Robinson, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Anton Peikrishvili, James Down, Josh Turnbull, Lewis Jones, Gareth Anscombe, Harri Millard