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Cardiff Blues change four for quarter-final

31st March 2017

Cardiff Blues have made four changes for their crunch European Challenge Cup quarter-final with Gloucester Rugby on Saturday (8.05pm).

Following last week’s agonising 22-21 Guinness PRO12 defeat to Leinster, Danny Wilson has been boosted by the return of Sam Warburton and Taufa’ao Filise.

After coming through his comeback unscathed, Gethin Jenkins also steps up from the bench to captain the side and Lloyd Williams comes into the starting line-up.

The Blues qualified for the knockout stages after securing five victories from six in Pool Four and they now face the Cherry and Whites at Kingsholm.

Following a season hampered by injuries, Wilson is pleased to boast a healthier squad and he is determined to go a step further in the competition.

The Cardiff Blues head coach said: “On the whole it’s a far healthier squad, and you saw that with the bench last weekend.

“We don’t have huge depth, but if we’ve got a healthy squad, as we’ve proved on more than one occasion this season, we can compete with anybody.

“The goal now for everyone concerned is a European trophy. If we were fortunate enough to get near that and challenge for it, it would be a great achievement for this group.

“We know there is no tougher game than going to a packed Kingsholm on a Saturday night to play a Gloucester side that are impressive, especially at home. 

“But these are the games you want to be in as a coach and a group of players and we've got that opportunity on Saturday night. 

“Two sides from either side of the bridge makes for an exciting encounter. I hope we can show our supporters how passionate we are for them to get an away win in a big European fixture.”

Captain Jenkins forms a front-row with Kristian Dacey and Filise with the remainder of the pack unchanged other than Warburton coming in for Macauley Cook.

Williams is the only change in the backline, with namesake Tomos dropping to the bench following his two-try exploits against Leinster.

With Anton Peikrishvili sidelined by a back injury, Wales Under-20s tight-head Keiron Assiratti provides cover for Filise on the bench.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Steve Shingler, Blaine Scully; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Kristian Dacey, Taufa’ao Filise, George Earle, Jarrad Hoeata, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Corey Domachowski, Kieron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Tomos Williams, Willis Halaholo, Aled Summerhill.