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Wilson rings the changes for Bristol

19th August 2016

Danny Wilson has rung the changes for Cardiff Blues' final pre-season friendly against Bristol on Saturday (3pm).

Macauley Cook is the sole survivor from the starting xv that faced Newport Gwent Dragons last week, with Wilson handing first starts to a host of new signings.

Matthew Morgan, George Earle and Nick Williams all make their first appearance for Wales’ Capital Region, while Rhys Gill also packs down for the first time since his return from Saracens.

There has been an emphasis on performance and giving the entire squad opportunities in pre-season, and this is the final audition ahead of the Guinness PRO12 opener against Edinburgh on September 3.

Wilson said: “We have trained well in pre-season, the new signings have really settled in and made an impact, it’s now about us gelling as a squad and team. 

“We wont get carried away with pre-season results, the results that matter are when we start the season. 

“It’s a very good and strong squad Bristol will bring, it’s a challenge we need before our first league game but I’m confident we can bring a performance that can build some confidence.

“It’s a mouth-watering fixture and challenge for us but at the same time it’s about looking at people and giving them relevant game time.

“This time of year is about building into the season, not trying to peak too soon.”

Saturday’s clash at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park is the first of three encounters with Andy Robinson’s Bristol this season, with the two teams drawn in the same European Challenge Cup group.

Wilson added: “Bristol are a team we have drawn in Europe so it’s a good opportunity in pre-season to have a look at each other. 

“It’s obviously a team that myself and Matt Sherratt know a fair bit about having worked there. It was almost inevitable we would draw them and it will be good to face them on the weekend but Edinburgh remains the priority.”

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan; 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Rey Lee Lo, 11 Tom James; 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Rhys Gill, 2 Kirby Myhill, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 4 George Earle, 5 Cam Dolan, 6 Macauley Cook, 7 Ellis Jenkins (capt), 8 Nick Williams.

Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Garyn Smith, 24 Harri Millard, 25 Aled Summershill, 26 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 27 James Sheekey, 28 Dan Fish, 29 Blaine Scully.