RaboDirect Pro12: Ed Kalman set to make 100th Glasgow appearance
RaboDirect Pro12: Ed Kalman will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow Warriors against Cardiff Blues
Ed Kalman will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow Warriors after Gregor Townsend named an unchanged starting XV for their Pro12 visit to the Cardiff Blues on Saturday.
Chasing a place in the top four, the Warriors will arrive in Cardiff out for revenge after home and away December defeats by the Blues in the Heineken Cup.
But with the knowledge that they have not lost to the Welsh side in the league since February 2011 and kicked off this season with a 22-15 win over them at Scotstoun.
The Warriors also boast a 100 per cent winning record on the road in the league this season and will have respect for, but won’t be overawed by, the returning names among the Blues forwards with the fast nature of the artificial pitch at the Arms Park expected to favour the Warriors’ backs.
Like the Welsh region, the Warriors will also have released international players among their ranks on Saturday evening with lock Jonny Gray and scrum-half among the replacements along with new signing Folau Niua.
For the injury-hit Blues, Wales and Lions internationals Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins are the high-profile returners in search of game time with tighthead prop Scott Andrews also returning for his first start since October.
With Owen Williams nursing an injury, Samoan centre Isaia Tuifua will make his first start for the Blues alongside fit again Dafydd Hewitt with Richard Smith (right wing) and Simon Humberstone (fly-half) selected ahead of Tom Williams and Gareth Davies, who start on the bench.
“We’ve had three tightly-fought games with Glasgow this season and I’m sure this clash in the RaboDirect PRO12 will be no different,” said Blues director of rugby Phil Davies.
“It’s a massive game for us. Our next three fixtures with Glasgow and Leinster at the Arms Park and Zebre in Italy are vital.
“All the players are working exceptionally hard and we’ve some quality internationals back in the line-up that we hope will give us that extra momentum.”
Cardiff Blues: Fish; Smith, Tuifua, Hewitt, Robinson; Humberstone, L Williams; G Jenkins (captain), Dacey, Andrews, Cook, Paulo, E Jenkins, Warburton, Copeland.
Replacements: R Williams, Hobbs, Palmer, Down, Watts-Jones; Lewis Jones, Davies, T Williams.
Glasgow Warriors: Matawalu; Lee Jones, Vernon, Bennett, Hughes; Jackson, Pyrgos; Reid, MacArthur, Kalman, Nakawara, Ryder, Harley, Holmes, Strauss (captain).
Replacements: Hall, Yanuyanutawa, Welsh, Gray, Eddie; Cussiter, Russell, Niua.
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)