During the last three weeks we have asked you to vote for your Ultimate XV and here it is! Boasting four British & Irish Lions, 10 Wales internationals and three more Test stars, the team have made a combined 2116 appearances for the Arms Park outfit.
Check out who made the replacements bench below and vote for your Ultimate Captain.
Gethin Jenkins (2003-2018 | 195 appearances | 8 tries | 129 caps for Wales | 5 caps for British and Irish Lions): 96%
Gethin Jenkins was a stalwart of Cardiff Blues and Welsh Rugby for a number of years. Having joined Cardiff Blues from Celtic Warriors in 2004, Jenkins would go on to make 195 appearances and played his part in some of the region's finest moments including two Challenge Cup-winning campaigns, the EDF Energy Cup win and a charge to the Heineken Cup semi final. The former Cardiff Blues skipper also established himself as one of Wales' best ever loose heads and had an illustrious career on the international stage, winning four Six Nations titles and going on three tours with the British and Irish Lions.
Matthew Rees (2013-2019 | 96 appearances | 2 tries | 60 caps for Wales | 3 caps for British and Irish Lions): 41%
Tonyrefail-born Matthew Rees arrived at Cardiff Blues as an established international hooker, who had also won Test caps for British and Irish Lions. Rees added crucial experience and leadership into the pack, and the Welsh International also showed admirable character to bounce back from a battle with testicular cancer and return to action. Rees hung up his boots in 2019 after an astonishing 329 professional appearances in his career.
Taufa’ao Filise (2006-2018 | 255 appearances | 9 tries | 22 caps for Tonga): 86%
Taufa’ao Filise made the switch to Cardiff Blues from Bath in 2006, and cemented himself as a true legend of the region during his 12-year stint at the Welsh capital. The Tongan seemed to be able to keep going, year after year, and broke the record for Cardiff Blues all-time appearances. Fittingly, Filise’s 255th and final appearance for the region, at 40 years old, came in the 2018 Challenge Cup final win in Bilbao.
Macauley Cook (2010-present | 167 appearances | 17 tries): 51%
Former Wales under-20 captain, Macauley Cook, graduated from the Cardiff Blues academy and was named the region’s Most Promising Player in 2014. He has been a reliable and consistent squad member throughout, highlighted by his 167 appearances, and has featured at both lock and in the back row, displaying his versatility.
Paul Tito (2007-2012 | 124 appearances | 3 tries): 81%
After arriving at the Welsh capital from Hurricanes in 2007, former New Zealand Maori, Paul Tito, quickly became a cult hero amongst the Arms Park faithful. ‘Fish’ became a key leader within the squad and skippered the region to EDF Energy Cup and Amlin Cup success and was influential to a host of academy graduates coming through the ranks at the Arms Park.
Josh Navidi (2009-present | 173 appearances | 21 tries | 24 caps for Wales): 57%
Josh Navidi graduated from the Cardiff Blues academy and has made a total of 173 appearances for the region since his debut against Leinster in 2009. While the dreadlocked back row had to remain patient for regular selection at international level, Cardiff Blues fans had no doubts about his talent as Navidi consistently performed for the region from season to season. Navidi has also picked up numerous individual accolades including Cardiff Blues Player of the Season and Welsh Rugby Writers’ Player of the Season.
Martyn Williams (2003-2012 | 143 appearances | 18 tries | 100 caps for Wales | 4 caps for British and Irish Lions): 53%
Having initially moved to the Arms Park from Pontypridd in the pre-regional era, Martyn Williams was Cardiff Blues’ first ever captain. Williams soon established himself as one of the finest openside flankers in European rugby and wore the number seven jersey as Cardiff Blues claimed the EDF Energy Cup and the Amlin Cup. On the international stage, the back row featured in three Rugby World Cup, reached a century of caps for Wales, went on three British and Irish Lions tours and won two Grand Slams with Wales, being named Player of the Tournament in the 2005 Six Nations.
Xavier Rush (2005-2012 | 153 appearances | 22 tries | 8 caps for New Zealand): 83%
Xavier Rush arrived at the Arms Park as an All Black, but made a huge impact both on and off the field during his seven year stay at Cardiff Blues. A bulldozing ball carrier, Rush’s leadership would see him appointed captain and he cemented his status as a Cardiff Blues legend. He was voted the fans’ Player of the Season in his debut campaign and would go on to make 153 appearances for the region.
Tomos Williams (2013-present | 91 appearances | 14 tries | 20 caps for Wales): 35%
Electric scrum half Tomos Williams is the type of player that puts you on the edge of your seat. He’s shown his game-changing ability since making his debut in 2013, and is edging ever-closer to a century of appearances. Williams has also made his mark on the international stage in recent months.
Nicky Robinson (2003-2009, 2016-2017 | 132 appearances | 22 tries | 670 points | 13 caps for Wales): 50%
Nicky Robinson was the number 10 at Cardiff Blues for the first six years of the regional era. ‘The King’, as he became known on the Arms Park terraces, was a silky, elegant attacker, with a wide-rang of impressive passing skills. He steered Cardiff Blues to the EDF Energy Cup win in 2009 before joining Gloucester in 2009. Robinson returned to the region in 2016 for season as injury cover.
Tom James (2006-2013, 2015-2019 | 163 appearances | 60 tries | 12 caps for Wales): 59%
With 60 scores to his name, Tom James is the region’s top try scorer, touching down 14 times more than his closest competitor. Former athlete TJ became a fixture on the Cardiff Blues wing, impressing enough to win his first Wales cap against England in 2007. James left to join Exeter Chiefs in 2013, but returned in 2015, continuing his try-scoring form. A try scorer in the EDF Cup final and Heineken Cup semi final defeat to Leicester Tigers, James was also the Magners League top try scorer in 2008.
Jamie Roberts (2005-2013 | 86 appearances | 18 tries | 94 caps for Wales | 3 caps for British and Irish Lions): 68%
Jamie Roberts came through the academy of his home region, and became one of the most decorated rugby players of his generation. Starting out in the back three, Roberts moved to number 12 where he developed a reputation as one of the most effective ball carriers in world rugby. The centre crossed for a try in the Amlin Cup final win over Toulon and made 86 appearances over his eight-year stint. He became a key figure in the Wales midfield, and went on to play for the Lions in 2009, where he was named ‘Man of the Tour’, and 2013.
Jamie Robinson (2003-2009 | 108 appearances | 29 tries | 23 caps for Wales): 43%
Wales international Jamie Robinson was another dangerous attacker, and his record of 29 tries in 108 appearances sees him ranked fourth on the region’s all time try-scoring list. The former Ysgol Glantaf pupil was also the Celtic League’s top try scorer in the 2003/04 season. Robinson also touched down for seven tries in 23 appearances for Wales and spent a decade at the Arms Park, captaining the region, before moving to Toulon.
Alex Cuthbert (2011-2018 | 115 appearances | 46 tries | 47 caps for Wales | 1 cap for British and Irish Lions): 67%
Alex Cuthbert burst onto the regional scene and quickly established himself as one of the finest finishers in the northern hemisphere. The academy graduate was a predator around the whitewash and proved his quality on both regional and international level. An extremely popular squad member, Cuthbert remains second on the all-time try scorer list. His tries in Championship deciders steered Wales to two Six Nations titles and he's also scored a Test try for British and Irish Lions in Australia.
Ben Blair (2006-2012 | 115 appearances | 21 tries | 1078 points | 4 caps for New Zealand): 57%
All Black Ben Blair arrived at Cardiff Blues in 2006 and cemented himself as one of the region’s finest exports, becoming the top point scorer and the only player to rack up more than 1,000 points. One of the most consistent players from the tee, Blair was also an intelligent rugby player, who was positionally strong and a great reader of the game. Played his part in Cardiff Blues' EDF Energy Cup and Amlin Cup success, while his touchline conversion led the infamous Heineken Cup semi final against Leicester Tigers in 2009 into extra time.
Replacements: T Rhys Thomas*, John Yapp, Dillon Lewis, Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Lloyd Williams**, Gareth Anscombe, Tom Shanklin.
The bench was selected following the traditional split for an eight man bench, taking the player with the most individual votes in the relevant areas.
*T Rhys Thomas was tied with Kristian Dacey and is selected due to his superior amount of appearances
** Lloyd Williams missed out to Tomos Williams by just two votes!
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