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Dacey hits 150th BKT URC appearance as Cardiff host DHL Stormers

First Team News | 21st October 2022

Kristian Dacey will make his 150th BKT United Rugby Championship appearance as Cardiff host reigning champions, DHL Stormers, on Saturday (KO 7.35pm).

Among the current squad, only Lloyd Williams has made more Blue and Blacks appearances than the hooker, who made his league debut against Connacht in 2010 and is closing in on his double century.

The academy product is joined in the front row by Rhys Carré and Dillon Lewis, who returns to the starting line-up.

Captain Josh Turnbull has a new lock partner in Rory Thornton, while an unchanged back row of Shane Lewis-Hughes, Thomas Young and James Ratti completes the pack.

On the back of a call-up to Wales’ autumn squad, Rhys Priestland switches to outside half in the absence of Jarrod Evans and partners international team-mate Tomos Williams at half back.

Ben Thomas makes a long-awaited return from a shoulder injury to slot in at full back, with Theo Cabango also reintroduced to the back three, with Josh Adams ruled out due to a wrist injury.

Jason Harries is named on the opposite wing, while Max Llewellyn and Uilisi Halaholo continue their midfield partnership.

Looking ahead to the encounter against the current URC holders, Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We’re really looking forward to Saturday night and what promises to be a significant challenge in the shape of the Stormers.

“They are a quality outfit, the reigning champions and you only have to look at their 16-game unbeaten run to appreciate how good they are. 

“We will need to be at our best but we are at our home ground where we get brilliant support and we are on the back of two Welsh derby wins. This will be another step up, and we have some more injuries, but it’s a challenge we are relishing and will show us where we are as a team. 

“We need to front up physically to match them and make sure we do not give a very dangerous back-three opportunities. That means being really accurate on both sides of the ball, being disciplined and playing for the full 80 minutes.”

Cardiff have opted for a 6-2 split on the bench, as Lopeti Timani returns to fitness and takes his place amongst the replacements.

After facing Stormers, Cardiff will host Edinburgh at the Arms Park the following week in the final BKT URC encounter of the block, ahead of the upcoming international window.

Cardiff: Ben Thomas; Jason Harries, Max Llewellyn, Uilisi Halaholo, Theo Cabango; Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dillon Lewis, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Thomas Young, James Ratti

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Corey Domachowski, Dmitri Arhip, Matthew Screech, Lopeti Timani, James Botham, Lloyd Williams, Mason Grady

Unavailable for selection:

Josh Navidi (neck) 

Liam Williams (collarbone)

Owen Lane (ankle)

Jacob Beetham (knee)

Aled Summerhill (knee)

Matthew Morgan (knee)

Josh Adams (wrist)

Rey Lee-Lo (return to play protocols)

Jarrod Evans (groin)

Seb Davies (shoulder)

Taulupe Faletau (calf)