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Jenkins back to skipper Cardiff Blues on 100th appearance

20th September 2018

Ellis Jenkins will make his 100th appearance as Cardiff Blues take on Munster in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday night (7.35pm).

The Wales flanker sat out last week’s last-gasp loss to Zebre in Italy but is one of seven changes for the Arms Park encounter.

Three of those changes come in the backs with Jarrod Evans starting at fly-half and Gareth Anscombe switching to full-back. Willis Halaholo returns to partner Rey Lee-Lo in the centre and Blaine Scully makes his comeback from ankle surgery.

In the pack, Jenkins forms a familiar backrow with Nick Williams also returning alongside Josh Navidi. 

That sees Josh Turnbull slot in at second-row, while Rhys Gill and Dmitri Arhip are back to pack down either side of Kristian Dacey.

Macauley Cook is also in line to make his 150th Cardiff Blues appearance should he be called into action from the bench.

Head coach John Mulvihill said: “It is an awesome achievement for both Ellis and Macca personally and we want to help them celebrate with a performance that is worthy of a win.

“They are two local boys, who have progressed right through our player pathway to become established first team members and in Ellis’ case club captain.

“It’s also good to have Blaine Scully back. He provides a real aerial threat and is another quality leader, who has a presence on the field.”

The Blues are searching for their first win of the PRO14 season after slipping to defeat in the final five minutes of their opening three encounters by a combined total of just five points.

Mulvihill admits it has been a frustrating start to the season but expects a fearsome reaction from his wounded side as they return to the Arms Park - a venue in which they have lost just two first team fixtures in an entire year.

He added: “It has been a difficult start to the season but we are determined to put in a performance that our supporters can be proud of on Friday night.

“Munster are a quality side and it will be a big challenge but we are back at Cardiff Arms Park and want to kick-off our season. 

“We certainly expect a big reaction and hopefully you will see that in our physicality and intensity through the entire 80 minutes.”

Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe, Blaine Scully, Willis Halaholo, Rey Lee-Lo, Jason Harries; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins (capt), Nick Williams.

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Carre, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan.