The Cardiff team to play Newport in tomorrow's Principality Cup quarter-final at the Arms Park shows three changes from the side that started against Pontypridd a fortnight ago.
Rhys Williams returns in place of Nick Robinson at full back; Jamie Robinson has recovered from an ankle injury sustained in early February and plays at outside centre; and skipper David Young, who played as a replacement at Sardis Road, is also fully fit after a hamstring injury.
On the replacements' bench, Robin Sowden-Taylor is available again after playing for the Wales Seven in Hong Kong. Ken Fourie has recovered from a thumb injury and Dan Baugh makes his first appearance of the season.
John Tait will have a late fitness test for an injured back.
Team: Rhys Williams; Anthony Sullivan, Jamie Robinson, Pieter Muller, Craig Morgan; Iestyn Harris, Robert Howley; Spencer John, Jonathan Humphreys, David Young (captain), Adam Jones, John Tait, Rob Appleyard, Emyr Lewis, Martyn Williams
Replacements (from): Kenneth Fourie, Andrew Lewis, Luke Tait/Robin Sowden-Taylor, Dan Baugh, Ryan Powell, Nick Robinson, Matt Allen
Referee: David R Davies
Meanwhile, Wales centre Andy Marinos has been ruled out of the match.
Marinos has had his right hand put in plaster after dislocating a finger in
the Lloyds TSB Six Nations defeat by England at Twickenham last weekend.
"Andy was hoping to recover in time to help us to defend our Principality
Cup title, but we are not prepared to risk him. He is too important to both club and country," said Newport team manager Jim McCreedy.
"At this stage we don't know whether or not he will be fit for Wales to face Scotland next week, but we are obviously concerned to have him in
tip-top condition for the run in to the Welsh/Scottish League title and for
the final rounds of the cup, if we win at the Arms Park."
While Marinos has been ruled out, definitely ruled in are Wales locks Ian
Gough and Mike Voyle and Wales Under 21 No 8 Andy Powell. But another Wales
Under 21 cap, Nathan Brew, will be out for a month after damaging his ankle.
The back line injuries mean that Matthew Watkins and Jon Pritchard will
play at centre with Ben Breeze and Matt Mostyn figuring on the wings.
Gough has recovered from the back injury that forced him to miss the game
at Twickenham last weekend, while Voyle has returned from New Zealand where
his wife recently gave birth to their second child.
Powell injured his right hand in the Wales Under 21 triumph over England at
Newbury last Friday night, but he has been passed fit to play.
Further good news for Newport is that Powell, the most exciting young forward
in Wales, has signed a new deal with the club that will keep him at Rodney
Parade until 2005.
Despite going into the quarter-final as the holders of the Principality Cup, Newport realise the enormity of the task facing them at the Arms Park.
"We are all aware of Cardiff's incredible record at home. In 72 games since December 1997 they have won 68 and drawn one," said McCreedy.
"They have won 10 of our last 13 meetings and we have to go back to 25
November, 1995 for our last win in the Welsh capital. That said, we will be
travelling full of confidence and with a squad of players capable of winning the game."
As well as a capable squad of players, Newport will also have an army of
4,000+ black and amber fans. The club sold more than 3,000 tickets for the
inter-city Good Friday clash by Monday and more are expected to turn up on
"The battle off the field is going to be as hot as the one on it. The Newport fans have become a huge part of the club's push for success and their vocal backing will play a huge part on the night," added McCreedy.
Newport Rugby: Matt Pini; Matt Mostyn, Matthew Watkins, Jon Pritchard, Ben
Breeze; Shane Howarth, Ofisa Tonu'u; Rod Snow, James Richards, Chris
Anthony, Simon Raiwalui (captain), Ian Gough, Peter Buxton, Jason Forster,
Replacements (from): Adrian Garvey, Ceri Jones, Paul Young, Joe Powell,
Mike Voyle, Alix Popham, Hal Luscombe, Jason Strange, Dale Burn.
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