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Adams returns for Welsh derby showdown

First Team News | 1st December 2023

Josh Adams returns as Cardiff Rugby make six changes for the BKT United Rugby Championship clash against the Scarlets on Saturday (3pm).

The Wales wing makes his first club appearance of the season after being declared fit following the shoulder injury he suffered during the Rugby World Cup. 

He is one of four Wales internationals coming back into the Blue and Blacks’ starting line-up and six changes in total from the side that battled back to secure a dramatic bonus-point victory over DHL Stormers last weekend. 

Adams is joined by in-form duo Mason Grady and Cam Winnett in an exciting back-three, while Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo are reunited in midfield. Tomos Williams has also returned to fitness to partner Tinus de Beer at half-back. 

With Lopeti Timani ruled out, Mackenzie Martin, who impressed on debut from the bench last week, is handed a first-start. 

Teddy Williams has overcome a minor knee injury to partner Seb Davies in the second-row, while Keiron Assiratti is also back fit to add his scrummaging prowess to the front-row. 

Cardiff Rugby head coach Matt Sherratt said: “We were really pleased last week and felt the players got their just rewards after being so close throughout the season. 

“The resilience and fight they displayed, against a quality Stormers side, was fantastic and gives us something to build upon.

“We have been fortunate to welcome some quality internationals back, who give us further experiences, but it is also important to remain true to ourselves and to continue giving young players opportunities. 

“They have really stood up this season and this will be another great challenge for all of us, and it’s one we are all looking forward to. 

“The Scarlets will be determined to do the double over us and will have no shortage of motivation after their loss to the Ospreys.

“But it was a great occasion last weekend and with an anticipated bumper crowd behind us, the boys will give everything for the jersey and to give our supporters something to celebrate.”

In another fitness boost, Shane Lewis-Hughes returns from the shoulder injury he suffered at Parc y Scarlets to line-up on the bench alongside club captain Josh Turnbull. 

Cardiff Rugby: Cam Winnett; Josh Adams, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo; Tinus de Beer, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher (capt), Keiron Assiratti, Seb Davies, Teddy Williams, Alex Mann, Ellis Jenkins, Mackenzie Martin

Replacements: Evan Lloyd, Rhys Carré, Rhys Litterick, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Bevan, Jacob Beetham, Gabriel Hamer-Webb

Unavailable for selection: Gwilym Bradley (foot), Taulupe Faletau (arm) Theo Cabango (shoulder), Ciaran Parker (hamstring), Thomas Young (calf), James Botham (hamstring), Aled Summerhill (hamstring), Matthew Aubrey (calf), Harri Millard (concussion), Lopeti Timani (concussion).