Gareth Williams will become only the 5th player to play 100 games for the Cardiff Blues, if he comes off the bench when the Blues take on Magners League Champions Leinster at the Royal Dublin Showground this Saturday.
Williams was one of the first players to sign for the newly formed Cardiff Blues in the summer of 2003, having previously played for UWIC, Bridgend and Pontypridd and also the Sydney club, Gordon. He made two appearances for Wales A in 2001-02 before winning his Wales cap in the 2003 Six Nations' fixture in Italy.
An industrious Hooker, Gareth's career at the Cardiff Blues includes 26 Heineken Cup matches. He made his debut for the Blues in October of 2003 against Edinburgh and went on to make 14 appearances for the Blues in his first season.
The match against Leinster also sees the return of three Cardiff Blues players from injury. Xavier Rush, Jamie Roberts and Richie Rees are all on the bench for the Blues in their first match of 2009.
Rush, sustained an injury to his knee during summer training which required an operation. Despite having some game time against Connacht in late September he has not played since that match with the knee injury having not fully recovered until now.
Richie Rees, injured his shoulder playing against Glasgow in late November but is now fit to take a place on the bench. Jamie Roberts is also back having recovered from a fractured skull playing for Wales against Australia also in late November.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny 14 Tom James 13 Jamie Robinson 12 Tom Shanklin 11 Gareth Thomas 10 Nick Robinson 9 Jason Spice 8 Andy Powell 7 Robin Sowden Taylor 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito 4 Bradley Davies 3 Taufa'au Filise 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 John Yapp
Rewplacements: 16 Gethin Jenkins 17 Gareth Williams 18 Scott Morgan 19 Xavier Rush 20 Richie Rees 21 Ceri Sweeney 22 Jamie Roberts
Cardiff Blues All Time Top 10 Appearances
Nick Robinson 112
Deiniol Jones 111
T.Rhys Thomas 108
John Yapp 103
Gareth Williams 99
Jamie Robinson 98
Robin Sowden-Taylor 94
Martyn Williams 91
Nick Macleod 82
Gethin Jenkins 79
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.