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Glasgow v Cardiff Blues Team News

17th February 2010

Cardiff Blues travel to Glasgow this Friday to face table toppers Glasgow Warriors, who are unbeaten in their last six encounters in the Magners League since September.

Cardiff Blues travel to Glasgow this Friday to face table toppers Glasgow Warriors, who are unbeaten in their last six encounters in the Magners League since September.

Cardiff Blues have won their last four matches in all competitions but have slipped to back to back defeats in the Magners League and face a Glasgow side who have won their last four games at Firhill in all competitions.

The Blues have been boosted by the return of Tom Shanklin, Gareth Cooper, Deiniol jones and Tom James from the Wales squad while Andy Powell does not feature, as the Blues never intended to use him for this match.

Cardiff Blues have also been hampered by injuries to Gavin Evans (shoulder), Richard Mustoe (groin) Gareth Thomas (illness) and Robin Sowden Taylor (Achilles), and face a Glasgow team that have won three of their last four clashes with Cardiff Blues, whilst the Blues only previous victory on Glasgow home soil was 28-23 at Hughenden in September 2005.

Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby, David Young said,

"We haven't got a very good record up there and we always find it a very difficult place to win."

"I wouldn't have thought our arch enemy, and hopefully new found hero next season, Dan Parks will be playing."

"He's really caused us problems every time we've played up there but they've got a strong squad, and it's never an easy place to play as our record suggests," added Young.

"It's a key game for us and we've got to look at picking up points in every game now. There are only seven games left so every match is massively important."

"We've lost a number of players, and at the minute we've lost 45% of our squad to international duty."

 "If you look at our squad we're only carrying 38-40 players, so when you lose 13 of them and then another 3 on Under 20's duty we're without about 45% of our squad."

"It is frustrating, but at the end of the day that's something you've got to plan for and we're lucky that we haven't got many more injuries than we've got, because we'd really be struggling to put a team together for such an important game."

Blues Starting XV:
15 Ben Blair 14 Tom James 13 Casey Laulala 12 Tom Shanklin 11 Chris Czekaj 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Gareth Cooper

8 Xavier Rush 7 Ben White 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Gary Powell 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Taufa'ao Filise

16 Huw Dowden 17 Scott Andrews 18 Scott Morgan 19 Andries Pretorius 20 Darren Allinson 21 Sam Norton-Knight 22 Dafydd Hewitt 

Glasgow Warriors back-row Richie Vernon will make his return to first team action against Cardiff Blues at Firhill tonight following a period of recuperation from glandular fever.

Vernon is named at No.8 alongside Heriot's and National Academy flanker Chris Fusaro who will make his first start for the Warriors. The team will be led by scrum-half Mark McMillan.

Speaking about his rejuvenated No.8, head coach Sean Lineen said: "To get Richie back is fantastic. He's a quality player and is desperate to play and that's what you want. There are some guys who err on the side of caution whereas Richie came up and said 'I want to play'."

On the third man to captain the Warriors so far this season, Lineen added: "Mark wears his heart on his sleeve. I think he's a great lad and you'll certainly hear him out there tomorrow night. He's done a great job for us all season."

"They (Cardiff Blues) are a tough team. You look at where they are in the league, it doesn't do the quality of their squad justice and they're going to come at us all guns blazing."

Glasgow Starting XV: 
15: Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Hefin O'Hare, 13 Max Evans, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe,  10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Mark McMillan CAPTAIN

1 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall , 3 Moray Low, 4 Tim Barker, 5 Richie Gray, 6 James Eddie, 7 Chris Fusaro (Heriot's), 
8 Richie Vernon

16 Fergus Thomson, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Dan Turner, 19 Paul Burke (Ayr), 20 Colin Gregor, 21 Alex Dunbar , (Selkirk)* 22 Peter Murchie

Cardiff Blues March fixtures
Sun 7 Mar 16:00 ML Cardiff Blues v Leinster Cardiff City Stadium
Sun 14 Mar 12:15 LVC-SF Cardiff Blues v Gloucester Rugby Cardiff City Stadium
Fri 26 Mar 19:05 ML Cardiff Blues v  Ulster Rugby Cardiff City Stadium