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Turnbull set for 100th Guinness PRO14 appearance in Cardiff Blues colours

Blues News | 14th February 2020

Josh Turnbull will make his 100th Guinness PRO14 appearance in Cardiff Blues colours as John Mulvihill’s side head to Galway for a crucial encounter against Connacht.

Following a three week interval, Wales’ Capital Region are back in action at The Sportsground, as they look to make up ground on their Conference B rivals.

The Blues currently sit in fifth place in the Conference, but with only 11 points separating sixth place and top spot, it’s all to play for as we head into the business end of the campaign.

They head into Saturday’s clash on the back of four victories from five Guinness PRO14 matches.

Hallam Amos makes a return from an ankle injury, which ruled him of the Challenge Cup double-header against Leicester Tigers and Calvisano, and joins Dan Fish and Jason Harries in the back three.

Garyn Smith retains his centre spot alongside Rey Lee-Lo, while the experienced duo of Jason Tovey and skipper Lloyd Williams are named at half back.

Utility forward Turnbull, who also made 86 PRO14 appearances for Scarlets, is handed the number six jersey and links up with Olly Robinson and Will Boyde in the back row.

A front row trio of Rhys Gill, Liam Belcher and Dmitri Arhip is named with Filo Paulo and James Ratti completing the pack.

Head coach, Mulvihill, said: “We’re looking forward to getting involved again.

“We’ve had a 10-day preparation into Connacht away and this will be a very important game for us.

“They’re a quality outfit and are only missing one international player so we’ll need to be at our best to win, but I’m sure we can do it.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on the weather, and it looks pretty horrendous. We trained on Monday and Tuesday in poor weather over here, with the hailstones coming down on Tuesday.

“We’ve given ourselves good preparation into the game this week.

“The results, even from week-to-week, change to nature of the standings in that table. But all we can concentrate on is what we do from week-to-week, starting with this week and seeing if we can take something from this Connacht game, which would set us up nicely.

“We’re really heading towards the business end of the season now. There’s some huge games coming up, starting with Saturday, and these boys have an opportunity to put themselves in contention for those big encounters.

“It’s great to welcome a number of boys back from recent injuries. Every squad member will be playing an important role in the coming weeks and we’re in a good place at the moment.”

On the bench, Ryan Edwards is in-line to make his first appearance for the region since joining on a short-term loan deal earlier this month. The Bristol Bears wing made a single Cardiff Blues appearance in similar circumstances in 2017/18.

Seb Davies is also named as a replacement, after being released from the Wales Guinness Six Nations squad for the encounter, with hooker Kristian Dacey making a long-awaited return from injury.

Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Jason Harries, Rey Lee-Lo, Garyn Smith, Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Lloyd Williams (capt.); Rhys Gill, Liam Belcher, Dmitri Arhip, Filo Paulo, James Ratti, Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson, Will Boyde

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Corey Domachowski, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Nick Williams, Lewis Jones, Ben Thomas, Ryan Edwards