Blues v Newcastle: Teams
Last Updated: 29/01/10 12:49pm
At Cardiff City Stadium, Sunday January 31, kick-off 3pm
Tom Shanklin will bring up a century of appearances for Cardiff Blues in the LV= Cup clash with Newcastle.
Shanklin has been included in a strong looking line-up for the match with fellow Wales international Sam Warburton also cleared to play.
Maama Molitika makes his first appearance in four months after recovering from injury, and he joins the promising Andries Pretorious in the back row.
Director of rugby Dai Young has given a number of the club's junior players the chance to shine with Scott Andrews, Huw Dowden, Gary Horrigan and Sam Hobbs
There is a young front row with Blues Academy members Scott Andrews, Huw Dowden, Gary Horrigan, Sam Hobbs, Dai Flanagan and Darren Allinson all in contention.
Newcastle boss Steve Bates has handed a first start to Scottish duo Michael Tait and Grant Shiells.
Centre Tait impressed off the bench in the group game against Harlequins, scoring a superb solo try, while Shiells comes into the front-row.
England Under-20s duo Tom Catterick and Will Welch are also handed starts, alongside Chris Pilgrim.
"We will have a number of personnel changes in the starting XV, but that doesn't in any way diminish the way that the team will prepare for the match," said Bates.
"There are guys starting this weekend who have a lot to play for, we are taking it very seriously and this is a great opportunity for them to show us what they can do at this level.
"The players are really looking forward to this challenge, many of them have had limited scope for first team rugby this season and the onus is on them to come and take these chances. Hopefully they will then make selection very difficult for us in the coming weeks, and that's what it is all about."
Cardiff:15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Dafydd James, 10 Dai Flanagan, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Mamma Molitika, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Andries Petorious, 5 Paul Tito (C), 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Huw Dowden / Gary Horrigan, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements:16 Huw Dowden / Gary Horrigan, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Gary Powell, 19 Chris Dicomidis, 20 Ben White, 21 Tom Slater, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Gareth Thomas, 24 Chris Czekaj
Newcastle:15 Tom Catterick, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Michael Tait, 12 Gcobani Bobo, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Chris Pilgrim, 8 Adam Balding (c), 7 Will Welch, 6 Ed Williamson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Peter Browne, 3 Matt Thompson, 2 Alex Walker, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements:16 Rob Vickers, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Josh Afu, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Rob Vickerman, 23 Charlie Amesbury.