Wales’ Jamie Roberts returns to Cardiff Blues after the World Cup

The World cup stars line up for the Blues for the first time this season with Roberts forming a centre partnership with the inform Casey Laulala, this being the only change in the backs to the team that defeated Connacht last Saturday.

Gethin Jenkins starts in the front row in place of John Yapp. Bradley Davies forms a new partnership in the second row with James Down. Paul Tito moves to the bench and Michael Paterson moves to the blindside in place of Maama Molitika. Lloyd Williams who also featured for Wales during the World Cup is also on the bench.

The Blues have won back to back RaboDirect PRO12 matches, both away from home at Aironi and Connacht, but are winless in five encounters with fellow Welsh regions in 2011.

Newport Gwent Dragons’ only victory in their last four RaboDirect PRO12 matches was 22-9 at home to Ulster in round five. Dragons have won five of their last six games at Rodney Parade in the tournament.

Speaking ahead of the match, Cardiff Blues squad captain Paul Tito said,

“We have a few of the Welsh boys back and I’m sure they will be firing to play for the Blues. It’s the opening of their new stand at Rodney Parade so I’ve no doubt it will be a big match. They beat us down there last year, which was disappointing and stopped us getting in the top four, so there’s a lot riding on it. The boys obviously want to play well, so they get into the Heineken cup team as well. So a good performance against the Dragons this week is crucial for everyone.”

Starting XV:
15 Chris Czekaj
14 Alex Cuthbert
13 Casey Laulala
12 Jamie Roberts
11 Tom James
10 Dan Parks
9 Richie Rees
8 Xavier Rush
7 Josh Navidi
6 Michael Paterson
5 James Down
4 Bradley Davies
3 Taufaao Filise
2 T Rhys Thomas (c)
1 Gethin Jenkins

16 Ryan Tyrrell
17 John Yapp / Sam Hobbs
18 Scott Andrews
19 Paul Tito
20 Maama Molitika
21 Lloyd Williams
22 Ceri Sweeney
23 Gavin Evans.