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Robinson to captain Cardiff Blues in Leicester Tigers pre-season clash

10th August 2018

Olly Robinson will captain Cardiff Blues in their opening pre-season game against Leicester Tigers at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (KO 2.30pm)

The clash against the 10-times English champions will be the first match played under new head coach, John Mulvihill.

The Australian has picked a mix of youth and experience in the squad, with former Wales Sevens star, Jason Harries, set to make his debut for Wales' Capital Region, following a summer move from Edinburgh.

Three Welsh internationals feature in the matchday squad - Tom James and Scott Andrews both start, while loanee Rory Thornton could make his first appearance for the Blues from the bench.

Dan Fish, Willis Halaholo, Lewis Jones and Steven Shingler provide further experience to the backline.

Former Wales under-20 duo, Callum Bradbury and James Botham, join Robinson in the back row, while Brad Thyer, Ethan Lewis, Ben Murphy and James Down complete the pack.

Mulvihill has been impressed by the attitude shown in training in the build-up to Saturday's game, and is excited for his first game at Cardiff Arms Park.

"I was looking forward to getting started five weeks ago! To have a game this week, you can see there is a subtle change in the boys' preparations.

"We're looking forward to getting started and seeing the local crowd come back. It's a first opportunity for us to get a game after the boys won out in Bilbao last season, they finished the season really well and hopefully we'll take some momentum into the new season.

"We have a pretty strong side out, a lot of boys that have played for Cardiff Blues before. Some of our internationals aren't playing this week, but they will feature next week in Exeter.

"There are a few boys who have had minor surgeries over the summer, and they're just about ready to come in, so there will be four or five players coming into the main squad next week"

With an extended bench of 13 players for the friendly, there will be plenty looking to make an early impression on the new coaches, including youngster Ioan Davies, trialist Tom Williams and Aled Summerhill, who crossed for five tries in two pre-season fixtures last season.

Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Jason Harries, Harri Millard, Willis Halaholo, Tom James; Steven Shingler, Lewis Jones; Brad Thyer, Ethan Lewis, Scott Andrews, Ben Murphy, James Down, Callum Bradbury, Olly Robinson (capt), James Botham

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Rhys Carre, Keiron Assiratti, Rory Thornton, Alun Lawrence, Dane Blacker, Ben Jones, Cai Devine, Morgan Allen, Tom Williams, Aled Summerhill, Cameron Lewis, Ioan Davies