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Cardiff Blues change seven for Ulster

23rd March 2018

Cardiff Blues have made seven changes for their Guinness PRO14 clash with Ulster - the last regular season fixture at the Arms Park in the current campaign.

With the race for the play-offs intensifying both sides will be desperate to keep on track as they chase third place in their respective conferences.

Danny Wilson’s side are targeting a fifth straight win in the competition and have been boosted by the availability of their Wales contingent. 

In total there are nine internationals in the starting XV and four more on the bench.

In the pack Matthew Rees and Scott Andrews come into the front-row, while Seb Davies joins George Earle in the second row. Josh Turnbull moves into the back-row and Ellis Jenkins steps up from the bench.

At half-back Tomos Williams has overcome a knock to partner Jarrod Evans, while Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo combine in the centre. One further change sees USA captain Blaine Scully replace Aled Summerhill.

Wilson said: “We’ve had four wins on the bounce and won eight of our last 10 in Europe and the PRO14 so it’s a good place to be. 

“We knew at the beginning of the last block that if we won four games we would give ourselves the chance to go and do something. We’ve done that and now we have to take that opportunity we have created. 

“The first stage of that is trying to win against a good Ulster team at the Arms Park and if we do that it keeps us right in the hunt - we desperately want to chase the Cheetahs down and get into that third spot.

“Ulster have a lot of very dangerous individual players who collectively on their day are outstanding. I’m sure they will go as fully loaded as they can, in terms of their Irish internationals as well, because they need the wins. 

“With four games left we are very aware of the type of team that’s going to come to the Arms Park. It’s going to be a real tough one but we can also come back to our recent form and our home form in general.”

The fixture will also be Danny Wilson’s last at the helm at Cardiff Arms Park, unless the Blues triumph in their European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh. If they win they are guaranteed a home semi-final.

Following Ulster and Edinburgh, Wales’ Capital Region embark on a two week tour of South Africa, in which they play Toyota Cheetahs and then Southern Kings.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Blaine Scully, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Matthew Rees, Scott Andrews, George Earle, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill, Dillon Lewis, Ben Murphy, Macauley Cook, Lloyd Williams, Steve Shingler, Garyn Smith