Cardiff Blues travel to Kingsholm this Saturday to face Gloucester for the LV= Cup Round 3 match, kick off 3.00pm

The team is almost completely different to the side that secured a Heineken Cup Quarter Final in defeating Racing Metro last weekend, as the opportunity to once again give youth its chance is taken by the Blues coaching team, albeit with a blend of experience most notably, the return of full back Ben Blair following a 15 month lay off.

Speaking of the match Cardiff Blues back coach Gareth Baber said, “the team we’ve selected to face Gloucester is a mixture of youth and experience.

“It’s been a pretty full on season so far, so we’ve looked for some players to have a bit of time off and bit of a rest after our Heineken campaign. I think it’s important for those players to get a chance to express themselves. Some of the younger ones who have been playing in the Premiership will come in and force their name forward.”

“It also gives the opportunity for other players in the squad who have picked up injuries over the last couple of months. It’s important for them to get back up to the level where we need them to be for these two LV= Cup games and pushing forward to the RaboDirect.”

Speaking of the return of Blair, Baber added: “Ben Blair brings a vast amount of experience having been a solid front line player for us for the past five to six seasons.

“Obviously he’s been out for a long time with his knee injury but we hope to see him back to his kicking best and controlling the back three for us, solid under high balls and driving our attack in wide areas.”

Blair has good memories of playing Gloucester having recorded 50 points against the West Country opponents in 3 previous games, including a win and 25 points in the EDF Energy Cup Final in 2009, a result which Gloucester avenged in the tournament the following season.

The only players that were involved in Heineken Cup action last weekend, include John Yapp who is in line to make his 153rd appearance for the Blues, Flanker Josh Navidi and Chris Czekaj who retains his starting spot in a team that is captained by Second Row Macauley Cook.

Blues Starting XV:
15. Ben Blair
14. Richard Mustoe
13. Tom James
12. Cory Allen
11. Chris Czekaj
10. Gareth Davies
9. Lewis Jones
8. Luke Hamilton
7. Thomas Young
6. Josh Navidi
5. Macauley Cook (Capt)
4. Cory Hill
3. Sam Hobbs
2. Marc Breeze
1. John Yapp

16. Rhys Williams
17. Nathan Trevett
18. Ryan Harford
19. Matthew Screech
20. Ruben Tucker
21. Tom Rowlands
22. Rhys Patchell
23. Dan Fish