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Adams returns as one of six changes for Stade Francais visit

First Team News | 18th December 2020

Josh Adams returns to the Cardiff Blues starting line-up for Sunday’s crucial European Challenge Cup clash against Stade Francais (KO 5.30pm).

John Mulvihill has made six changes to the side that beat Newcastle Falcons last week, as Wales’ Capital Region aim to make it two from two in their European campaign.

Adams made five appearances for Wales during their autumn campaign, and heads into Sunday’s encounter with four European tries in three appearances for the region.

A further change among the back three sees Aled Summerhill named on the opposite wing, while Hallam Amos reverts to full back after a try scoring display at Kingston Park last week. Summerhill withdrew from that encounter as a precaution due to illness but was not displaying Covid-19 symptoms and has since returned two negative tests.

Academy graduate Max Llewellyn is given the nod at 12 to earn his first European start for his home region.

The final change in the backline sees Lloyd Williams introduced at scrum half to link up with Jarrod Evans.

Turning attention to the pack, having made his European debut from the bench last week, Ben Murphy is recalled to the starting line-up to partner Seb Davies at second row.

The front row remains unchanged, but skipper Cory Hill switches to the number six jersey and is joined in the back row by Josh Turnbull and the returning Alun Lawrence, who also makes his first start in Europe.

Head coach John Mulvihill said: “We were happy to kick off the competition with an away win, but it’s important to back that up. A couple of home wins in Europe could be enough to seal a place in the next round.

“It’s been a good week of training and the boys are hungry to get out there on Sunday. We have a strong history in this competition so the boys are determined to put their best foot forward on Sunday and try to build momentum ahead of what is a busy and important festive period.

“It’s great to see Alun, Max and Ben making their first starts in Europe. All three have shown up well when given their opportunities this season in the PRO14 and we’re delighted to be able to hand them this chance.

“There is a really strong competition for places here at the moment, with a few boys just around the corner from returning. That competitive nature within the squad can only benefit the 23 that goes out there on each weekend.

“Stade lost their opening game last weekend, but we don’t take anything for granted. They’re a strong outfit with a lot of depth and quality in the squad so we need to be on point and focused on the task ahead. If we get the performance right, hopefully the result will take care of itself.”

A total of five internationals are named on the bench, including Rey Lee-Lo who returns to the squad after missing out on the trip to Newcastle. Dmitri Arhip and Rory Thornton are the other new faces introduced amongst the replacements.

It’s a proud moment for the pathway system, as the matchday squad contains a total of 16 home-grown Cardiff Blues academy graduates, and 21 Welsh qualified players.

Cardiff Blues: Hallam Amos; Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Max Llewellyn, Josh Adams; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Brad Thyer, Kristian Dacey, Dillon Lewis, Ben Murphy, Seb Davies, Cory Hill (capt.), Josh Turnbull, Alun Lawrence

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Rhys Carré, Dmitri Arhip, Rory Thornton, Sam Moore, Tomos Williams, Ben Thomas, Rey Lee-Lo