"I had a good run-out with the squad yesterday and David Young has chosen me to start rather than come on midway through. I haven't played for ten weeks, since the World Cup Final, but I'm really looking forward to this weekend."
"Matt is a real professional both on and off the field and we can only benefit from his presence. I don't want to put too much pressure on him but now that he's here it would be silly not to pick him."
Cockbain features in a much-changed team witgh Donavan van Vuuren, Matt Allen, Pieter Muller, Andrew Moore and Ken Fourie all returning to action and Jonny Vaughton and Rhys Thomas making their Celtic League debuts.
Andrew Lewis has recovered from a leg injury suffered against Munster at the end of the November and is included among the replacements along with Jim Brownrigg who was ill last week.
Ryan Powell has a slight shoulder strain but is also named as a replacement.
None of the Blues' Six Nations' squad were available for selection while John Yapp has a dead leg that will sideline him for 7-10 days.
Cardiff Blues: Donavan van VUUREN, Nick WALNE, Matt ALLEN, Pieter MULLER, Jonny VAUGHTON, Nick ROBINSON, Andrew MOORE, Ken FOURIE, Rhys THOMAS, Ben EVANS, Craig QUINNELL, Andy MOORE (c), Matt COCKBAIN, Rob APPLEYARD, Nathan THOMAS
Replacements: Darren CROMPTON, Andrew LEWIS, Heino SENEKAL, Jim BROWNRIGG, Robin SOWDEN-TAYLOR, Ryan POWELL, Nick MACLEOD