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Filise returns for Judgement Day showdown

27th April 2018

Taufa'ao Filise returns to the Cardiff Blues line-up as Danny Wilson makes 13 changes for Saturday's Judgement Day clash against Ospreys at Principality Stadium.

The prop, who will make his 254th appearance for the region, was a try scorer during this fixture last season, as Wales' Capital Region sealed a memorable bonus point victory over their rivals.

Gareth Anscombe, who was a stand-out player during last season’s bonus point victory at the Principality Stadium, captains his side for the Guinness PRO14 encounter and makes a switch from full back to the number 10 jersey.

The only other player to be retained in the starting line-up from last week's European Challenge Cup semi-final win over Pau is Josh Turnbull, who features at number 8.

Experienced scrum half, Lloyd Williams, returns to partner Anscombe at half back, while Matthew Morgan, Aled Summerhill and Blaine Scully are also introduced to the backline.

Steven Shingler, who combines with Garyn Smith in midfield, will make his 50th appearance for the region. 

Seven changes are made in the pack, with Olly Robinson starting at openside following an impressive outing as a replacement during last week's semi-final. Rhys Gill and Kirby Myhill join Filise in a new-look front row, with Damian Welch partnering James Down in the second row.

Danny Wilson is keen to see a repeat of last season's result, and insists places are up-for-grabs for the Challenge Cup final in Bilbao on May 11.

"Judgement Day is massive, it's a derby again and those are the big games you want to play in. At the tail-end of the season we've come up against a number of big games and it feels like every week there's a big game," said Wilson.

"We will certainly go into a derby against Ospreys with the mindset that we want to pick up another derby win and we believe our squad is capable of doing that.

"We picked up a lot of bumps on the weekend, and this week will be about managing those and making a decision on those players, going into Judgement Day and going into the final in a couple of weeks’ time.

"What this is going to provide is an opportunity for some players, with places genuinely up for grabs.

"We had a massive game on Saturday, and have another massive game this Saturday, and they're two games to assess individual games to make sure we pick the right squad and the right team to go to Bilbao."

Alun Lawrence and Max Llewellyn  both line-up on the bench and could make their Championship debut if called into action.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Steven Shingler, Blaine Scully; Gareth Anscombe (capt), Lloyd Williams; Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Taufa’ao Filise, Damian Welch, James Down, Macauley Cook, Olly Robinson, Josh Turnbull

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Ben Murphy, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Harri Millard, Max Llewellyn