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Adams returns for Welsh derby as Cardiff make four changes

First Team News | 1st October 2021

British and Irish Lions star Josh Adams makes a return to Cardiff colours for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship derby against Ospreys (7.35pm)

The Wales international wing finished as the tourists' top try scorer in South Africa, crossing for a total of eight tries in five games, including the final Test against Springboks.

Adams is the one of four changes made from the opening day, bonus-point win over Connacht, as Jason Harries is ruled out with a low grade hamstring injury.

Outside half Rhys Priestland has passed his return-to-play protocols to feature at Stadium, having departed the field after less than a minute of action in last week’s opener.

The playmaker was forced off after only a minute of action on his competitive debut last week and will link up with Tomos Williams at half back, who impressed off the bench against Connacht. Rey Lee-Lo and Willis Halaholo continue their partnership in midfield.

Captain Josh Turnbull is joined by Ellis Jenkins and James Ratti in an unchanged back row, with the latter coming up against his former team. Seb Davies and Matthew Screech also continue at lock. 

There is a double change is the front row with Wales internationals Rhys Carré and Dillon Lewis given the nod to start either side of Kirby Myhill.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: “I’m looking forward to it. We played against the Ospreys towards the end of last season in the Rainbow Cup but this is a proper league game, which we’re looking forward to.

“They’ve come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 to 18 months. They’re looking a real quality team and we’ll have to be at our best to get a result down there.

“They’re very good up front and we know the set piece on the weekend will be a challenge. It’s about the set piece, it’s about the breakdown and it’s about physicality on both sides of the ball.

“Rhys has passed his return-to-play protocols throughout the week so we’re happy that he’s been given the go-ahead to feature. It’s also good to see Ben Thomas coming onto the bench after recovering from a niggling injury he’s had over the last few weeks.

“There’s been a couple of changes to the starting line-up, but as I’ve reiterated previously, this is a squad game. We’ll need everyone, from one to 23, to play an important role in the performance.”

Having started against Connacht last week, Corey Domachowski and Dmitri Arhip will look to bring impact from the bench, alongside Lloyd Williams following an impressive outing as an emergency outside half at the Arms Park. 

Ben Thomas recovers from a groin injury to take his place amongst the replacements, with Matthew Morgan also drafted into the match-day 23.

Cardiff Rugby: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Josh Adams; Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Ellis Jenkins, James Ratti

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Corey Domachowski, Dmitri Arhip, Rory Thornton, Will Boyde, Lloyd Williams, Ben Thomas, Matthew Morgan