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Halaholo starts as Cardiff head to Llanelli for first derby of the season

First Team News | 7th October 2022

Wales international Uilisi Halaholo returns to Cardiff’s starting line-up for Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship clash with Scarlets.

The centre has been used from the replacements bench during the opening weeks of the season but is handed his first start of the campaign. 

The Blue and Blacks travel to Llanelli following defeats to Glasgow Warriors and Emirates Lions, while the Scarlets are targeting their first success of the season, having recorded two losses and a draw in their matches to date.

Director of Rugby Dai Young has turned to the experience of Halaholo, who forms a formidable centre partnership with Rey Lee-Lo, and replaces Max Llewellyn, with the academy product named on the bench after an impressive start to the campaign.

The final change amongst the backline sees Jason Harries taking his place on the wing for the first time this season.

A front row of Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey and Dmitri Arhip are supported by the unchanged lock partnership of Lopeti Timani and Seb Davies.

Josh Turnbull captains the team from blindside flanker and is joined in the back row by Taulupe Faletau and Thomas Young.

Young said: “It promises to be a significant challenge at Parc y Scarlets but it is one we are looking forward to. They will be really eager to get their season started so we know its going to be a tough game and that’s what we have focused on this week.

“We were frustrated with the result last Friday, because it was a game I felt we should have won and we certainly had the opportunities to do so. 

“So we’re looking forward to getting back out there and having the opportunity to produce a good performance, which will hopefully be enough to secure the result we want.”

Kirby Myhill and Will Davies-King are named as replacements, having overcome recent hamstring and bicep/pectoral injuries respectively.

Saturday’s encounter is the first of two back-to-back derbies, as Cardiff prepare to welcome Dragons RFC to the Arms Park next week.

Cardiff Rugby: Rhys Priestland; Jason Harries, Rey Lee-Lo, Uilisi Halaholo, Theo Cabango; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, Lopeti Timani, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Thomas Young, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Corey Domachowski, Will Davies-King, Teddy Williams, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Lloyd Williams, Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn