Friday, 5 September 2014

Trio set for Blues debuts at Zebre

Adam Jones, Josh Turnbull and Manoa Vosawai will all make their debuts for Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO12 when the new season explodes into life against Zebre on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 5pm local time).
The three summer signings all start as Blues complete Round 1 of the new season at Stadio XXV Aprille in Italy.

Prop Jones packs down alongside captain Matthew Rees and Sam Hobbs in the front row.

Turnbull will play at blindside flanker and is part of a powerful back row that includes fellow new boy and Italian international Vosawai plus Sam Warburton.

Rhys Patchell and Lloyd Williams are paired at half back after impressing together in the final pre-season fixture with Leicester Tigers.

Gavin Evans and Cory Allen will form a midfield partnership while rising star Owen Jenkins is named on the wing for the third PRO12 start of his career. His first start also came in Italy against Benetton Treviso last season.

The replacements include fit-again hooker Kristian Dacey and tighthead prop summer recruit Craig Mitchell.

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett said: "We're looking forward to the first game of the new Guinness PRO12 season against a Zebre team who will no doubt be keen to make a positive start on home soil.

"We need to focus on ourselves and performing; we have real competition for places right across the squad. Every player knows they need to produce in Italy to keep hold of the jersey.”

Captain Matthew Rees added: "We have recruited strongly for this season and the opening game is the chance to make a real statement of intent about what we can achieve this season.

"What has happened in the past with Zebre is gone. We are a new squad now, a new team and we're all looking forward to getting into the serious nature of Guinness PRO12 rugby and showing what we are capable of as a group.”

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Owen Jenkins, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams; 1 Sam Hobbs, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 3 Adam Jones, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Manoa Vosawai

Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dafydd Hewitt


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