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Magners League
Warburton boosts Blues' bid
ESPNscrum Staff
April 28, 2011
Cardiff Blues' Sam Warburton stretches the Newcastle defence, Cardiff Blues v Newcastle Falcons, Anglo-Welsh Cup, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, January 31, 2010
Sam Warburton has been out for the past three and a half months with a leg injury © Getty Images
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Cardiff Blues are boosted by the return of Wales international Sam Warburton for their crucial clash with the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday night.

The fourth-placed Blues will be looking to cement their slot in the Magners League play-offs in their game in hand. With flanker Martyn Williams at the Royal Wedding and their opponents on Friday possessing a host of back-row options - including Dan Lydiate, Gavin Thomas and Toby Faletau - Blues head coach Dai Young is delighted to have Warburton back in action after three and a half months on the sidelines with a leg injury.

"It was frustrating that he got injured but he's worked his socks off to get himself right," said Young. "He's done the hard work and I'm delighted because his physicality will be vital against the Dragons.

"It's going to be a real battle of the back-rows. It's probably the strength of the Dragons team and we have to make sure we match them.

"Gavin Thomas will be a big part of their game and we have to make sure he doesn't slow our ball down. Dan Lydiate has had an excellent season, he makes a lot of tackles and carries a lot of ball. And if we give Toby Faletau space with ball in hand he will give them plenty of go forward."

The Blues' optimism was muted somewhat by the news that Leigh Halfpenny will miss the remaining regular season matches with an ankle injury. Halfpenny is replaced by Chris Czekaj with Dan Fish coming in at fullback. While Steffan Jones gets his first start for the Dragons.

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