Blues and Dragons chase Heineken Cup place
May 6, 2009
The Blues coach David Young will be hoping his side can bounce back from their cruel Heineken Cup exit © Getty Images
The Blues will be looking to bounce back to winning ways following their cruel Heineken Cup exit, when they take on the Newport Gwent Dragons on Wednesday at the Arms Park.
It's eighth against ninth on the log and just one point separates the two as they fight for one of the three qualification spots on offer to the Welsh regions.
The Blues Director of Rugby David Young said, "I have huge respect for our opponents and I've no doubt we will have another hotly contested Welsh derby, the last one between the Dragons and the Blues at the Arms Park."
"No doubt the Dragons will raise their game as the match is equally important to them."
"Every team wants to beat their neighbours and there is also Heineken Cup qualification at stake, with both teams wanting to avoid the playoff match in Italy."
"If we play to our best I am confident that we will be too strong for them but I'm sure the Dragons will be equally determined to pick up some points."
For the Dragons Ashley Smith returns as do Richard Fussell, Lewis Evans, Nigel Hall and captain Tom Willis return to the starting line-up.
The Blues could be deflated after their defeat in the Heinken Cup on the weekend but Welsh international Luke Charteris, who will be making his seventy fourth start for the region is nonetheless wary of the Blues outfit.
"It's true that they will be gutted after Sunday's game, but they may well come out fighting," he said "They will clearly rest players but when you have the likes of Gareth Thomas in the wings, that's a lot of experience to bring in.
"Now their Heineken Cup campaign is over, they will have woken up to find themselves in a dog-fight with us and the Scarlets for automatic qualification and they are going to want to get something out of the end of the season.
"We don't know what the Blues team will be but obviously they all have the same coaching team so we know the style of rugby to expect and so we'll be concentrating on that instead of individuals. Whatever they do, we are well-prepared and determined not to finish fourth out of the regions."
Blues: Blair, Thomas, J.Robinson, Shanklin, James, Sweeney, Rees, Jenkins, Rhys Thomas, Filise, Jones, Morgan, Molitika, Sowden Taylor (captain), Powell
Replacements: Yapp, Williams, Davies, Rush, Allinson, N. Robinson, Mustoe
Dragons: Tovey, Wyatt, Gomer Davies, Smith, Fussell, Connor, Evans, Black, Willis (captain),Hall, Macdonald, Charteris, Lydiate, Evans, Bearman
Replacements: Jones, Gustafson, Hall, Webb, Brew, Arlidge, Walker
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