Blog Banner

Five Blues players in Hansen's 22

11th February 2004

Steve Hansen has named five Cardiff Blues players in his Welsh 22 to play Scotland in the RSB Six Nations clash at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Rhys Williams, Iestyn Harris and Martyn Williams will feature in the starting XV, whilst Gareth Williams and Tom Shanklin will start from the bench. The two Blues players to miss out are Jamie Robinson and Craig Morgan, however Steve Hansen has confirmed that he will utilise his entire squad of 30 throughout the tournament as he did in last year's World Cup.

Probably the most surprising of Hansen's selections is the positional change of Rhys williams on the wing and Gareth Thomas at full-back. Thomas impressed at full back during Wales' matches against New Zealand and England at the World Cup and clearly this has infuenced Hansen's plans as he has picked a back three that possess devastating attacking options.

Blues captain Martyn Williams has regained his place on the flank after a string of impressive performaces in the Heineken Cup. He regains his place at the expense of young Osprey's flanker, Jonathan Thomas, who moves down to the bench.

Having made a full recovery from the back injury that had sidelined him from the last four Cardiff Blues matches, Iestyn Harris rekindles the centre partnership with Sonny Parker that proved explosive at the World Cup.

Wales team to play Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday:
G Thomas (Celtic Warriors); R Williams (Cardiff Blues), S Parker (Warriors), I Harris (Blues), S Williams (Neath-Swansea Ospreys); S Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), G Cooper (Warriors); Duncan Jones (Ospreys), M Davies (Warriors), A Jones (Ospreys), B Cockbain (Warriors), G Llewellyn (Ospreys), C Charvis (Tarbes, capt), M Williams (Blues), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets).

Replacements: H Bennett (Ospreys) or G Williams (Blues), G Jenkins (Warriors), M Owen (Gwent Dragons), J Thomas (Ospreys), D Peel (Scarlets), C Sweeney (Warriors), T Shanklin (Blues).