Cardiff Blues drew 'first blood' in the battle of East versus West after former Wales captain Matthew Rees won the coin toss to determine dressing room allocations at Millennium Stadium for Judgement Day III.
The Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons, as host regions for GUINNESS Pro12 double header to be played out on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm), have been allocated the international home and away changing rooms at the national ground.
Rees joined Dragons back row Andrew Coombes in Cardiff for the coin toss adjudicated by WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones, who was on duty at the Youth Cup Final on Saturday afternoon.
After calling “tails” the 60-times capped Rees chose to return to the home changing room, where he and team-mates like Wales captain Sam Warburton (54 caps), Adam Jones (95), Alex Cuthbert (32) and Gethin Jenkins (114) will be in familiar surroundings.
The visiting sides, the Scarlets - who take on the Dragons in the second match of the day at 4.45pm – and the Ospreys will be housed in the Millennium’s two spare dressing rooms in its West stand.
“We are going to go for the home changing room,” said Rees. “I think there’s a number of players in our squad who’ll be comfortable in terms of being in that changing room so we’ll go for the home one.
“It’s every player’s dream to play out here at the Millennium Stadium and that opportunity comes for us again next Saturday.
“I’m sure many of the boys will be looking forward to being able to change in the home changing rooms.”
Coombs, who’s Dragons side will now swap with the Blues each year Judgement Day progresses, wasn’t too upset to miss out on the official home dressing room, despite being heard to shout in jest ‘it’s a fix’ when the coin landed.
“The facilities here are second to none, we’re used Rodney Parade so I think the boys will enjoy the changing room they’ve been given and there’s two great changing rooms here so no problem with that,” he added.
Tickets are still available priced at £10 each from www.wru.wales/tickets, the WRU ticket office on Westgate Street, each of the four Regions, at local Tesco stores or by calling Ticketmaster on 0844 847 1881, with fans encouraged to buy in advance as a strong ‘walk-up’ crowd is expected to add to the in excess of 43,500 who have bought tickets to date.