Cardiff Blues take the field at the Arms Park for the first time on Friday evening when they entertain Leicester Tigers in the bmibaby Challenge Cup match (kick-off 7.05pm).
Coach David Young has announced a 22-man Blues squad, led in Martyn Williams absence by Andrew Lewis. They include new signings Jonny Vaughton in the backs and forwards Nathan Thomas, Andy Moore, Craig Quinnell and Thomas Rhys Thomas.
Nick Robinson and Robin Sowden-Taylor, both of whom were on international duty last weekend, will also feature in a match that heralds the beginning of a new ere of rugby in the capital city.
David Young said:
We have had a good couple of months preparation and are ready to try out our new team in a competitive situation. This may be a pre-season friendly but a game with Leicester Tigers will never be a stroll in the park. We will field our strongest available side, as will Dean Richards and his team.
The Tigers team is due to be announced on Thursday and is expected to be led by All Black legend, Josh Kronfeld, with several other big names in their line-up, including Darren Morris, Tim Stimpson and another All Black, Darryl Gibson.
The airline bmibaby, sponsors of the game, have also confirmed this week a continuation of their support for Cardiff Blues and the Cardiff Rugby semi-professional team. The companys managing director, Tony Davis, said:
Were delighted once again to announce our support of rugby in Wales. The association worked extremely well for us last year and we are proud to be involved with Cardiff this season and support them as they enter into a new era of rugby in Wales.
Cardiff Blues Squad v Leicester Tigers:
Backs Donavan van Vuuren, Jonny Vaughton, Nick Walne, Dean Dewdney, Lee Abdul, Pieter Muller, Matt Allen, Nick Robinson, Nick Macleod, Richard Smith
Forwards John Yapp, Kenneth Fourie, Andrew Lewis (captain), Thomas Rhys Thomas, Andy Moore, Craig Quinnell, Chris Stamatakis, Dan McShane, Jim Brownrigg, Dan Baugh, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Nathan Thomas
Cardiff Blues continue their pre-season programme on Friday week, 29 August, when they play Northampton Saints at Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 7.05 pm)