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Adams returns for East Wales Derby showdown

First Team News | 14th October 2022

Josh Adams returns to the Cardiff starting line-up as the Blue and Blacks target a second consecutive derby win when they host Dragons RFC at the Arms Park on Saturday (KO 5.15pm).

A minor groin injury ruled the British and Irish Lion out of the recent encounters with Emirates Lions and Scarlets, but he returns to the backline as Cardiff aim to secure more derby spoils over their east Wales rivals.

Adams joins Rhys Priestland and Jason Harries in the back three, while there is a recall for Max Llewellyn in the centre. The academy product, who has impressed during the early stages of the season, replaces Rey Lee-Lo to form a midfield partnership with Uilisi Halaholo.

Points from Tomos Williams and Jarrod Evans proved to be the difference at Parc y Scarlets last week, and they will continue as the starting half back duo for the sixth consecutive match.

Kristian Dacey, who will move to 149 league appearances for Cardiff, lines up with Rhys Carré and Dmitri Arhip in an unchanged front row. 

With Lopeti Timani ruled out, captain Josh Turnbull, who was named Player of the Match in Llanelli, moves to the second row with Shane Lewis-Hughes introduced to a back row that includes summer recruits Thomas Young and Taulupe Faletau.

Director of rugby, Dai Young, said: “The Dragons were one of the most improved teams in the competition last season and they have taken another stride forward this season.

“There isn’t much between the Welsh teams and we can all beat each other on our day. The last few games against the Dragons have been very close affairs, with pretty much one score in it, so we will have to be at our best come Saturday.

“We were pleased with the result against the Scarlets and the challenge now is to back that up at Cardiff Arms Park. 

“There was no lack of spirit, no lack of pride and everybody chucked everything into it. What we need is consistency in that and that’s what we need week-after-week.

“It promises to be a great occasion, with a bumper crowd in attendance and these are the days we all get excited for.”

Cardiff are bolstered by the return of international trio Dillon Lewis, Matthew Screech and James Botham, who are all named on the bench.

Aled Summerhill also recovers from a recent knock to take his place amongst the replacements.

Cardiff: Rhys Priestland; Jason Harries, Max Llewellyn, Uilisi Halaholo, Josh Adams; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Seb Davies, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Thomas Young, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Matthew Screech, James Botham, Lloyd Williams, Mason Grady, Aled Summerhill

Unavailable for selection: 

Ben Thomas (shoulder) - November

Josh Navidi (Neck) - October/November

Owen Lane (Ankle) - December

Liam Williams (Shoulder) - December/January

Matthew Morgan (Knee) - November/December

Jacob Beetham (ACL) - 2023

Liam Belcher (Groin) - October

Lopeti Timani (calf) - October

Rey Lee-Lo (Return to play protocols )