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Arhip to make Cardiff Blues debut in Exeter Chiefs friendly

17th August 2018

Olly Robinson remains captain as Cardiff Blues make 14 changes to their side to face Exeter Chiefs in their pre-season friendly at Sandy Park tomorrow (3pm).

Following a last-gasp 17-15 defeat to Leicester Tigers last Saturday, Wales’ Capital Region turn their attention to their final warm-up ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Head coach John Mulvihill has made sweeping changes as he looks to give all fit players within his squad the chance to stake a claim for the Guinness PRO14 opener against Leinster.

New signing Dmitri Arhip makes his Cardiff Blues debut in a front row containing Rhys Gill and Kirby Myhill George Earle returns from injury in the second-row and Rory Thornton makes his first start.

In the backs, Owen Lane has also recovered from the injury he suffered in the European Challenge Cup final to line-up on the wing.

Mulvihill said: “This week presents another significant challenge as we prepare for the 2018-19 season and our PRO14 opener against Leinster.

“Exeter Chiefs are another quality English side, who have been one of the leading teams in Europe and will be formidable opposition and ideal preparation for Leinster.

“They have a big, physical pack and Nic White organises them well from behind. They play a good kick-chase game and keep the ball. They will back their fitness to put us under a little bit of pressure.

“We gave a lot of young players opportunities last week and this week we have brought back some more experience. So I am looking forward to seeing how they go following another week of good preparation.

“Following this game we would have used more than 40 players and will be able to narrow our focus with an eye on the Leinster game.”

Mulvihill has named 12 replacements, including Wales international Dillon Lewis, for the trip to Devon as he continues to manage the squad in preparation for the new season.

Cardiff Blues kick-off their competitive campaign with a home clash against Guinness PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup winners Leinster on Friday, August 31.

Tickets are available now by calling 029 20 302030 or clicking here.

Cardiff Blues team to face Exeter Chiefs:

Matthew Morgan; Owen Lane, Garyn Smith, Steve Shingler, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, George Earle, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson (capt), Seb Davies.

Ethan Lewis, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, James Down, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Harri Millard, Willis Halaholo, Jim Botham, Jason Harries, Tom James, Tom Williams.