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Cardiff make 10 changes for Scarlets rematch

First Team News | 8th April 2022

Cardiff Rugby have made 10 changes for their crucial United Rugby Championship rematch with Scarlets tomorrow (15.10).

The Blue and Blacks welcome their Welsh rivals to the Arms Park just seven days after they crashed to a disappointing defeat in Llanelli.

It was a performance director of rugby Dai Young branded as unacceptable and he has now made  10 sweeping changes to his side as they look for a reaction. 

Five of those changes come in the front-row, where Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill and Dmitri Arhip return to the starting line-up. Corey Domachowski is included on the bench, while Kristian Dacey misses out due to a minor hamstring injury.

Seb Davies and Matthew Screech continue their partnership in the second-row with the two further changes in the back-row.

James Ratti and James Botham have both been ruled out with knee injuries, while Josh Navidi is unavailable due to illness, meaning club captain Josh Turnbull pulls on the number eight jersey, having missed last week, and Shane Lewis-Hughes returns from injury. 

Behind the pack, Lloyd Williams is preferred to partner Jarrod Evans and Garyn Smith combines in midfield with Rey Lee-Lo. There is an all new back-three Owen Lane and Theo Cabango back fit to replace Jason Harries and Josh Adams, who is now likely to miss the remainder of the season, while Matthew Morgan starts at full-back. 

Young said: “We have made a number of changes, some due to injury and others purely based on form and selection. It is disappointing to lose Josh Adams for a number of weeks but we are hopeful that James Ratti and James Botham won’t be out for too long.

“That said, we still have some quality to come into the team and we need to see a reaction this weekend. 

“The only positive about that last 60 minutes last week is that we now have an opportunity to put it right. That’s something that’s come loud and clear from the players. They’ve identified it wasn’t anywhere near the standard that they’ve come to expect from themselves.

“They want to go out there and rectify that this week, but I also expect there’s more to come from Scarlets as well. We didn’t push them to the limits and they’ll come down here with a bit of confidence.

“We know we need to be at our best and we have some wrongs to put right so there is plenty of motivation and I’m sure there will be a reaction.”

While Cardiff were left bitterly disappointed in west Wales, they can take solace from their home form this season.

The Blue and Blacks have lost just one URC encounter on their home patch and have notched up impressive wins over Championship pace-setters Leinster and Glasgow Warriors in recent weeks. 

A bumper crowd is also expected at Cardiff Arms Park for the rearranged fixture and Young hopes to make the most of home advantage.

He added: “We really enjoy playing here at the Arms Park and we’ve beaten the top and third teams in the league here. We need a performance of those levels to get the result here this weekend.

“It sounds like it is going to be a big crowd so I’m sure it will be a great occasion and that is something the players will feed off. 

“Our home support has been fantastic this season and they have really got behind the team and created an electric atmosphere. We owe them a performance and want to give them something to get out of their seats for.”

Liam Belcher, Will Boyde and Aled Summerhill all also return to the match-day squad after recovering from injury or illness. 

Cardiff Rugby: Matthew Morgan, Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Garyn Smith, Theo Cabango; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Ellis Jenkins, Josh Turnbull (capt).

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Corey Domachowski, Will Davies-King, Teddy Williams, Will Boyde, Tomos Williams, Rhys Priestland, Aled Summerhill.