Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Another big round of Guinness PRO12 fixtures this weekend sees the regions play one home game and make three away trips with key fixtures looming for both Ospreys and Scarlets in Ireland.

The Blues start the action when they host Italian side Benetton Treviso at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park tonight as they look to bounce back from defeat away at Edinburgh last Sunday and gain valuable league points.

Meanwhile, Scarlets will look to continue their rise up the Guinness PRO12 league table over in Ireland where they face a crucial clash against Connacht, who are currently one place above them in the league table.

The Ospreys also have a key clash, knowing that a result at this time of year from their challenging visit to current league champions Leinster could go a long way to helping them maintain their great start to the Guinness PRO 12 season and securing a play off spot.

The Dragons wrap up the action on Sunday when they will look to turn around their form against Glasgow Warriors.

Cardiff Blues

The Blues have made four changes to their starting line-up for the visit of Benetton Treviso to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park tonight (19.35), which include a debut for new Argentinian international signing Joaquin Tuculet.

The Pumas ace is named at full back with Gareth Anscombe moving positions to play fly half and make his home debut, as the Blues go in search of a valuable home win as they look to move up the league table. Geraint Walsh is also named on the wing.

Filo Paulo is back in the second row after international duty with Samoa where he partners Josh Turnbull, who moves from the back row. Josh Navidi is the final change to the side as he takes the Number Eight jersey for the home fixture, where he will be joined by flankers Ellis Jenkins and Macauley Cook in the backrow.

Prop Craig Mitchell could make his playing comeback after being named on the replacements bench alongside Miles Normandale, Rory Watts-Jones and Tavis Knoyle.

Cardiff Blues team to play Benetton Treviso at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park tonight (19.35):

Joaquin Tuculet, Richard Smith, Adam Thomas, Gavin Evans, Geraint Walsh, Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Sam Hobbs, Kristian Dacey, Adam Jones (captain), Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Josh Navidi.

Replacements: Rhys Williams, Thomas Davies, Craig Mitchell, Miles Normandale, Rory Watts-Jones, Tavis Knoyle, Gareth Davies, Tom Isaacs. 

Newport Gwent Dragons

Dragons Director of Rugby Lyn Jones has made just two changes to the team that faced Munster last weekend for his side’s trip to face Glasgow Warriors on Sunday (16.00).

Wales wing Tom Prydie returns to the starting line-up to take his place in the back three alongside Matthew Pewtner, who comes in to replace Hallam Amos, while fullback Geraint Rhys Jones retains his place in the team. The centre pairing of Ross Wardle and Ashley Smith remains in place after impressing last weekend. Dorian Jones gets the nod at fly half again and is joined in the half backs by Richie Rees.

The front row stays the same as last weekend as props Brok Harris and Dan Way are again joined by hooker Elliot Dee. The second row pairing of Cory Hill and Rynard Landman make up the front five while James Thomas, Nic Cudd and Lewis Evans all keep their places in the back row.

There have been five changes made to the replacements bench as Phil Price, Andrew Coombs, James Benjamin and Hallam Amos join T. Rhys Thomas, Lloyd Fairbrother, Jonathan Evans and Jason Tovey.

Dragons team to face Glasgow Warriors on Sunday November 30 (16:00):

Geraint Rhys Jones, Tom Prydie, Ross Wardle, Ashley Smith, Matthew Pewtner, Dorian Jones, Richie Rees; Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Dan Way, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman (captain), James Thomas, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans.

Replacements: T. Rhys Thomas, Phil Price, Lloyd Fairbrother, Andrew Coombs, James Benjamin, Jonathan Evans, Jason Tovey, Hallam Amos.


Ospreys face a tough ask against reigning PRO12 champions Leinster at the RDS Arena on Saturday but will be spurred on by the knowledge that a result could be crucial in the run in to the play offs as they look to maintain their impressive league form.

Hanno Dirksen comes in to the centre in place of Ashley Beck in the only change to the backline for the current league leaders, with half backs Sam Davies and Martin Roberts set to continue their exciting partnership.

In the pack Marc Thomas replaces Duncan Jones at loosehead prop, Tyler Ardron returns from international duty with Canada to take his place in the second row and Joe Bearman replaces James King in the backrow.

There could also be PRO12 debuts for Gareth Thomas and Dafydd Howells tomorrow night if they come off the bench for the Ospreys.

The Ospreys team to face Leinster at the RDS Arena on Saturday November 29 (17.15):

Dan Evans, Aisea Natoga, Andrew Bishop, Hanno Dirksen, Tom Grabham, Sam Davies, Martin Roberts; Marc Thomas, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Peers (captain), Tyler Ardron, Joe Bearman, Sam Lewis, Dan Baker.

Replacements: Scott Otten, Gareth Thomas, Cai Griffiths, Rynier Bernardo, Ieuan Jones, Tom Habberfield, Josh Matavesi, Dafydd Howells.


Scarlets are unbeaten at home in the Guinness PRO12 in 2014 and will look to take their form from strong home performances into a crucial clash against sixth placed Connacht on Saturday (19.30).

An unbeaten home record in 2014, not achieved by the region since 2006 at Stradey Park, will give the side confidence going into the sixth versus seventh clash at the Sportsground. Also, Scarlets have won their last five encounters with Connacht since their 11-13 reversal at the Sportsground in September 2011 and will be looking to continue their winning run in Galway on Saturday evening.

Regan King makes his injury comeback in the centre and will form a partnership with Michael Tagicakibau, who joins him in midfield after starting on the wing last weekend. Kristian Phillips comes in on the wing in the only other change to the starting line up, while front row pairing Peter Edwards and Kirby Myhill will both reach the milestone of 50 appearances for the region in the crunch clash.

Scarlets team to take on Connacht at the Sportsground, Saturday November 29 (19.30):

Steffan Evans, Harry Robinson, Michael Tagicakibau, Regan King, Kristian Phillips, Steven Shingler, Aled Davies, Phil John, Kirby Myhill, Peter Edwards, George Earle, Johan Snyman, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, John Barclay (captain).

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Jacobie Adriaanse, Lewis Rawlins, Rory Pitman, Kieran Hardy, Josh Lewis, Gareth Owen.