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Wales duo return for quarter-final showdown

30th March 2018

Gareth Anscombe and Josh Navidi return to the starting line-up for Cardiff Blues' Challenge Cup quarter final against Edinburgh Rugby on Saturday.

The Welsh international duo are reintroduced after being rested for last week’s bonus point win over Ulster.

Danny Wilson has made two further changes in the pack, as Wales’ Capital Region look to extend their winning streak to eight games in Europe and PRO14.

Kristian Dacey replaces Matthew Rees, who has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign, in the number two jersey.  Meanwhile, Dillon Lewis replaces fellow Welsh international, Scott Andrews, at tighthead.

With Anscombe named at full back, Jarrod Evans retains his place at outside half following a man-of-the-match display at the Arms Park last week.

Josh Turnbull switches to lock, with Navidi named on the blindside in a back row also containing Ellis Jenkins and Nick Williams.

Wilson’s well aware of the threat posed by Edinburgh but believes his side have the fire-power amongst the backline to cause problems for Scots’ stern defence.

"Any side that is coached by Richard Cockerill will be hard over the ball, defensively, and have a real contact area presence.

"A decent set-piece is another fundamental part of a Richard Cockerill side, and they will generally be a well-organised and gritty team. Edinburgh have proven this year that they are very difficult to beat and difficult to breakdown, with one of the best defences in the league.

"Our attacking game, we'd like to think, has the fundamentals and the capabilities of testing Edinburgh’s strength in defence but we're fully aware it will be one of, if not the best defence we'll have had faced recently.

"Our attacking game for three years has been of pretty strong level. We've scored a lot of tries, we make a lot of line-breaks and have got a lot of x-factor players. 

"But what's really kicked on is our defence, and in fact, we our defensive record is up there with the best in the Challenge Cup this year and that's given us this big opportunity this weekend.”

Five internationals feature on the bench, as the likes of Seb Davies, Lloyd Williams and Matthew Morgan look to make impact as the game progresses.

Anton Peikrishvili returns to the fold after a successful Rugby Europe Championship campaign with Georgia.

Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe; Blaine Scully, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Kristian Dacey, Dillon Lewis, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Gill, Anton Peikrishvili, Seb Davies, Macauley Cook, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan