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Wilson makes nine changes for Pau

20th October 2016

Cardiff Blues have made nine changes for their European Challenge Cup clash with Section Paloise Béarn Pyrénées on Friday night (7.15pm).

Wales’ Capital Region made a perfect start to their campaign with a maximum points haul at Ashton Gate and will be aiming to make it two from two at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

There are five changes to the backline that secured a bonus-point victory over Bristol with Alex Cuthbert and Steve Shingler the sole survivors. Dan Fish, Cory Allen, Garyn Smith, Blaine Scully and Lloyd Williams all come in.

Up front, head coach Danny Wilson has selected an all new front-row, James Down comes into the second-row and Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins and Josh Turnbull form a new-look back-row.

Wilson said: “The Pau versus Bath game was a physical affair. Pau are a big side, right through from backs to forwards. 

“We all know the side Bath are, and the season they’re having. It’s no mean feat to make changes and still be very tight in a game against Bath.

“When you look at the names in the squad, even if they rest 15 players, the next 15 are still pretty strong.
“We’re expecting another physical encounter, as you do with all French teams, and we’re looking forward to the game on Friday night.

“We did pick-up a couple of knocks against Bristol, there are one or two we’ve had to look after this weekend.

“This is a European competition and it’s important we take it seriously. Our priority has to be the league because that’s where we’ll get qualification into the Champions Cup. 

“But our two priorities are the league and the European competition, so we want to field good sides in both.”

Seb Davies and Jarrod Evans come onto the bench while Kristian Dacey provides back-row cover.

Sam Warburton was not considered for selection as a precaution after experiencing some residual stiffness in his neck but has fully recovered from surgery on a fractured cheekbone.

Josh Navidi continues to go through return to play protocols, Nick Williams has been rested due to a slight knock to the shoulder and Cam Dolan was ineligible due to the selection of non-European players Blaine Scully and Jarrad Hoeata.

Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Alex Cuthbert, Cory Allen, Garyn Smith, Blaine Scully; Steven Shingler, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins, Kirby Myhill, Taufa’ao Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, James Down, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Josh Turnbull

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Kristian Dacey, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Matthew Morgan