Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Blues and Ospreys name teams for Champions Cup shootout

By Online Editors
Cardiff Blues' Gareth Anscombe.

Cardiff Blues have picked Gareth Anscombe for the Judgemnent Day clash against the Ospreys which is effectively a two-team shootout for a Heieneken Champions Cup playoff place.


The Blues are currently one-point adrift of the Ospreys, who sit fourth in Conference A.

Anscombe will join the Ospreys next season, but John Mulvihill had no hesitation in selecting the New Zealander.

“I have no doubts over Gareth’s commitment. He is the consummate professional and is hugely competitive. He has had a great season here at Cardiff Blues and will want to go out on a high.

Nick Williams returns to captain Cardiff Blues as Mulvihill makes four changes for Saturday’s match.

Williams missed recent defeats to Munster and Connacht due to injury but hands the Blues a significant boost for the all-important Guinness PRO14 encounter.

With his return to fitness, George Earle drops to the bench and Seb Davies reverts to the second-row.

The other changes come in the backs with Lloyd Williams given the nod at scrum-half and Jarrod Evans at fly-half with Anscombe moving to full-back.


Elsewhere, Aled Summerhill is back to take his place on the wing in the place of Jason Harries.

Tighthead prop, Dillon Lewis, retains the number three jersey as he is set to hit a half century of appearances for his home region.

Head coach Mulvihill said: “It is great to have Nick back to lead the team on Saturday. He is such an important player to our group, who leads by example, galvanises the team and gets us over the gain-line.

“We have had a great couple of weeks of preparation and the boys a highly motivated to claim a fifth derby win of the season, especially after losing at the Liberty Stadium in January.”


“It’s a winner-takes-all, so whoever wins this game will finish fourth in the pool and will probably be the best Welsh region across the calendar year.

“It’s a game of massive significance for us, after tasting Heineken Champions Cup rugby this year, and we want to go back and player there again next year.”

The Ospreys have been boosted by the returns from injury of Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and winger George North. Neither have played since Wales’ Grand Slam win over Ireland on March 16th. Jones has been struggling with an knee injury while North broke a bone in his hand.

Number 8 James King will make his 200th Ospreys appearance, becoming just the sixth player to reach that landmark for the Region.

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke said “Our goal for the season has been to achieve Champions Cup qualification, Saturday provides another opportunity to keep that goal alive.

“Over the last number of months we’ve approached it one game at a time aiming to improve on a daily basis and delivering on the pitch. There’s a tremendous buzz in the camp coming off the back of three bonus point wins. Those performances have been forged on the back of a good balance between quality training and enjoyment.”

“We’re under no illusions to the challenge and level of performance required against Cardiff on Saturday. It’s important we focus on our processes, do what we do well and the scoreboard will look after itself.”

Cardiff Blues: 15. Gareth Anscombe; 14. Owen Lane, 13. Rey Lee-Lo, 12. Willis Halaholo, 11. Aled Summerhill; 10. Jarrod Evans, 9. Lloyd Williams; 1. Rhys Gill, 2. Ethan Lewis, 3. Dillon Lewis, 4. Seb Davies, 5. Rory Thornton, 6. Josh Turnbull, 7. Olly Robinson, 8. Nick Williams (capt.)

Replacements: 16. Kirby Myhill, 17. Rhys Carre, 18. Dmitri Arhip, 19. George Earle, 20. Shane Lewis-Hughes, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Garyn Smith, 23. Jason Harries

Ospreys: 15. Dan Evans 14; George North, 13. Cory Allen, 12. Owen Watkin, 11. Hanno Dirksen, 10. Sam Davies, 9. Aled Davies; 1. Nicky Smith 2. Scott Baldwin, 3. Tom Botha, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Olly Cracknell, 7. Justin Tipuric (Capt), 8. James King

Replacements: 16. Sam Parry, 17. Rhodri Jones, 18. Ma’afu Fia, 19. Bradley Davies, 20. Dan Lydiate, 21. Matthew Aubrey, 22. Luke Price, 23. Keelan Giles.


Join free

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Eagles | Full Match Replay

Big Jim Show | Guinness Six Nations | England v Scotland

Vancouver SVNS - Day 2 - Full Replay

Vancouver SVNS - Day 1 - Full Replay

Life on Tour: 4

Wolfhounds v Clovers | Celtic Challenge 2024 | Full Match Replay

Boks Office | Jesse Kriel reveals the hardest team he had to play at the Rugby World Cup

Big Jim Walks and Talks with Handré Pollard


Trending on RugbyPass


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

finn 9 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

22 Go to comments
FEATURE The White Hole of Calcutta The White Hole of Calcutta