Cardiff Blues return to RaboDirect PRO12 action this week when they take on Aironi on Thursday 24 November, 7.30pm kick off.

The Blues have won their last two games in the RaboDirect PRO12, but both were played away from home. At Cardiff City Stadium the Blues have lost their last two in this competition and will aim to rectify that trend against Aironi.

Aironi Rugby’s last two encounters in the RaboDirect PRO12, against Munster and Glasgow, both were tryless games which ended in 6-18 defeats. The two teams have already met this season, with Blues winning 37-26 in Viadana in round six.

Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues backs coach, Gareth Baber, said, “When we went out to Italy in October to face Aironi both teams wanted to play open rugby and it was a nice, fine afternoon which allowed both teams to play a running game.”

“The weather at the moment might mean we have to deicide to play a slightly different game,” added Baber.  “Aironi are a physical side and although they scored four tries in our last encounter, two of them came from scrums on our five meter line and one was from a driving lineout. That gives you an indication of how they build their game and where they feel their strength lies. I think that this game will be a physical, competitive one again and we are going to have our wits about us to allow us to get want we need.”

Starting XV:
15 Chris Czekaj
14 Richard Mustoe
13 Gavin Evans
12 Dafydd Hewitt
11 Tom James
10 Dan Parks
9 Richie Rees
8 Maama Molitika
7 Josh Navidi
6 Michael Paterson
5 Paul Tito (C)
4 Cory Hill
3 Taufaao Filise
2 T Rhys Thomas
1 John Yapp

16 Marc Breeze
17 Nathan Trevett
18 Sam Hobbs
19 Macauley Cook
20 Ellis Jenkins
21 Lewis Jones
22 Ceri Sweeney
23 Casey Laulala

AIRONI Starting XV
15 Ruggero Trevisan
14 Giulio Toniolatti
13 Sinoti Sinoti
12 Gilberto Pavan
11 Giovanbattista Venditti
10 Naas Olivier
9 Tito Tebaldi
8 Josh Sole
7 Filippo Ferrarini
6 Nicola Cattina
5 George Biagi
4 Quintin Geldenhuys (C)
3 Fabio Staibano
2 Tommaso D’Apice
1 Alberto De Marchi.

16 Fabio Ongaro
17 Salvatore Perugini
18 Lorenzo Romano
19 Joshua Furno
20 Frans Viljoen
21 Tyson Keats
22 Roberto Quartaroli
23 Matteo Pratichetti.