Ospreys v Cardiff Blues - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Last Updated: 29/11/12 3:42pm
Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies has to deal with a host of injuries ahead of Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with the Ospreys.
The Blues ended their four game losing run with a 14-7 victory over Zebre in Italy last time out but can expect a tough test against the Ospreys, who are unbeaten in their last four fixtures against the Blues in all competitions.
The in-form Ospreys side are also unbeaten at Liberty Stadium since September 14.
Both sides are relishing the chance to test their young players, especially with the number of injuries they are facing.
The Blues are missing Dan Fish and Tom James who were injured during the match with Zebre. James is expected to be on the sidelines for approximately six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
Davies is also missing Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Harry Robinson, Scott Andrews, Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton and Lou Reed who are all on international duty.
The Blues start full-back Rhys Patchell and lock Michael Paterson, who are back from injury after staying on the replacements bench for their game against Zebre. They have made a total of five changes since Sunday's game.
Replacement Dmitri Arhip may make his debut for Ospreys as they face injuries to props Adam Jones, Aaron Jarvis and Joe Rees. Sam Davies is set to make his RaboDirect PRO12 debut if he comes off the bench.
Cai Griffiths will also start as he is called back to the Liberty Stadium on a season-long loan to help their prop injury crisis. Griffiths will figure in the front row alongside Scott Baldwin and Duncan Jones.
The Ospreys also miss a few players due to international duty, including Ian Evans, Justin Tipuric, Ryan Jones, Dan Biggar, and Ashley Beck.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ross Jones, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i (Captain), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 George Stowers, 5 James King, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jonathan Spratt.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Owen Williams, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi (Captain), 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Marc Breeze, 9 Lloyd Williams.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Andries Pretorius, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Jason Tovey.
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues29 - 5Zebre
Connacht20 - 24Ospreys
Edinburgh23 - 36Leinster
Glasgow Warriors32 - 10Ulster
Munster50 - 27Dragons
Treviso13 - 17Scarlets
Fri 22nd May - Semi-final
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Sat 23rd May - Semi-final
Munster0 - 0Ospreys