RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Cardiff Blues v Zebre
Last Updated: 13/04/13 5:58pm
Cardiff Blues have named Wales internationals Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny and Jamie Roberts in their starting XV for Saturday's PRO12 clash against Zebre.
Phil Davies has made four changes to the Blues side which lost 23-16 to Ospreys last weekend with Roberts, Lewis Jones, Robin Copeland and Taufa'ao Filise all favoured.
Dafydd Hewitt makes way at inside centre for Roberts who will make his final appearance at Arms Park along with Ceri Sweeney, who is named on the Blues bench.
Jones moves into the starting line-up with regular scrum-half Lloyd Williams facing four weeks on the sideline after damaging his medial ligament last week.
In the pack Copeland takes the number eight jersey ahead of Luke Hamilton who drops to the bench while Filise starts at hooker as the Blues seek to end a run of four successive defeats.
Meanwhile Zebre coach Roberto Manghi names six changes with his side still hunting an elusive first victory of the season.
Ruggero Trevisan replaces Paolo Buso at full-back while Daniel Halangahu and Alberto Chillon are partnered at half-back as Luciano Orquera and Tito Tebaldi are dropped from the starting line-up.
Up front Michael van Vuren starts in the second row with Quintin Geldenhuys left out of the Zebre matchday 23.
Both side enter the clash in poor form however Cardiff will have the advantage having run out 14-7 victors when the duo met in Italy earlier this season.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Gavin Evans (capt), 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 James Down, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Gareth Davies.
Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Giovanbattista Venditti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Andries van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Ferrarini, 6 Josh Sole, 5 Marco Bortomali (capt), 4 Michael van Vuren, 3 Luciano Leibson, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Nicola Belardo, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Alberto Chiesa, 23 Matteo Pratichetti.
What they said...
Cardiff Blues coach Phil Davies
"When we played Zebre earlier in the season, the boys played very well and there were some great passages of play but a bit of frustration at times.
"This weekend we have to win the game and win it well. We have to be direct early on, keep battling away at their defensive line and look to try and blow them away."
Zebre forwards coach Vincenzo Troiani
"We're waiting to win a game; we will try again with even more focus on trying to find that emotion which allows you to give everything on the pitch in search of a win.
"We will do it in each of our three remaining games; the players are convinced they can do it before the end of the season."
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 19
Ulster will aim to finish at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table when they take on Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill.
Connacht say goodbye to their number seven Johnny O'Connor when they take on Glasgow at the Galway Sportsground.
Paul O'Donohoe's last-minute try salvaged a 23-23 draw for Connacht in Treviso.
- Weir injury blow for Glasgow
- Leinster boost play-off hopes
- Davies stars in Scarlets win
- Ulster bag bonus at Connacht
- Soaring Glasgow claim points
- Forwards seal Treviso win
- Dragons hold off Munster rally
- Scarlets v Cardiff: Teams
- O'Driscoll seals Leinster win
- Ospreys soar into top four
- Cardiff ease past Zebre
- Connacht hold off Edinburgh
- Bowe inspires Ulster romp
- Scarlets see off Glasgow
- Munster v Leinster: Teams
- Edinburgh v Connacht: Teams
- Scarlets v Glasgow: Teams
- Treviso-Connacht postponed
- Ulster finally win in Dublin
- Ospreys stay in play-off hunt
- Scarlets hold off Dragons
- Glasgow top with Munster mash
- Successive wins for Edinburgh