Wil­liams re­turns in Nick of time to face Glas­gow

Western Mail - - SPORT -

IN­JURY-HIT Cardiff Blues have been boosted by the re­turn of Nick Wil­liams for tonight’s Guin­ness PRO14 clash with Glas­gow War­riors at the Arms Park.

Danny Wil­son’s team have lost both El­lis Jenk­ins and Lions cap­tain Sam War­bur­ton for the first half of the sea­son, while a third open­side flanker, young Jim Botham, also faces a lengthy lay-off.

So, hav­ing No.8 Wil­liams fit again is a timely back row lift, with the Kiwi pow­er­house hav­ing re­cov­ered from con­cus­sion.

The 33-year-old for­mer Ul­ster star is a key man for the Blues, with his abil­ity to carry the ball up and cross the gain line, hope­fully giv­ing them the go-for­ward they have lacked in their open­ing two league games.

There’s also a re­turn for an­other New Zealan­der, with Su­per Rugby win­ner Wil­lis Hala­holo re­called af­ter be­ing left out for last week­end’s trip to Le­in­ster.

Those are the only two changes to the start­ing line-up from the 37-9 de­feat at the RDS, but there are also a cou­ple of no­table re­turnees on the bench.

South African sec­ond row Ge­orge Earle has shaken off a heel prob­lem, while prop Brad Thyer makes his first ap­pear­ance since be­ing hos­pi­talised with de­layed con­cus­sive symp­toms af­ter sus­tain­ing a head in­jury against Glas­gow in Jan­uary.

Eight months on, the 24-year-old loose­head is set to make his come­back against the same op­po­si­tion. Cardiff Blues: R Wil­liams; A Cuth­bert, R Lee-Lo, W Hala­holo, T James; S Shin­gler, L Wil­liams; R Gill; M Rees (capt), K As­sir­atti, S Davies, D Welch, J Turn­bull, J Na­vidi, N Wil­liams. Reps: K My­hill, B Thyer, D Lewis, G Earle, M Cook, T Wil­liams, J Evans, M Mor­gan. Glas­gow: R Jack­son; T Sey­mour, N Grigg, A Dun­bar, L Jones; F Rus­sell, H Pyr­gos (capt); J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fager­son, T Swin­son, S Cum­mings, M Fager­son, A Ashe, C Gib­bins. Reps: P MacArthur, A Al­lan, D Rae, B Alainu’uese, C Fusaro, G Horne, P Horne, N Matawalu. Ref­eree: Frank Mur­phy (Ire).

> James Hook will wear No.12 as he bids to bring the best out of the Ospreys’ back-line

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