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Josh Navidi returns for Vodacom Bulls clash

First Team News | 8th October 2021

Josh Navidi will make his first appearance of the season as Cardiff welcome Vodacom Bulls to the capital for a crucial United Rugby Championship clash on Saturday (KO 7.35pm)

The back row star, who returns to the line-up after featuring for the British and Irish Lions over the summer, slots into the number six jersey as one of five changes made following last week’s defeat to Ospreys.

Having featured in the opening two rounds of action from the bench, the Blue and Blacks bringWill Boyde onto the openside, with Dmitri Arhip also introduced into the pack.

Lloyd Williams is reinstated as the starting scrum half, swapping places with namesake Tomos, while Ben Thomas is drafted in at inside centre, having made his comeback from a groin injury in Swansea last week.

Owen Lane, who has three tries from two outings this season, forms the back three alongside Hallam Amos and Lion, Josh Adams.

Rhys Priestland and Samoan Rey Lee-Lo complete an all-international backline.

With club captain Josh Turnbull named on the bench, hooker Kirby Myhill takes over the leadership duties, while Seb Davies and Matthew Screech continue their partnership in the boiler room.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: “We’ll need to more than match their physicality and if we can do that while moving them about, I’m sure we can get the right result.

“But we don’t want to get locked into an arm-wrestle because they’re a big, powerful unit.

“I’m excited for it and I’m hoping that the local supporters come out to support it.

“It’s a first opportunity for them to look at a South African franchise. Everyone talks up Super Rugby so it’s nice for them to have the opportunity to see them at first hand.”

A total of seven internationals will be looking to make impact from the bench, including Tomos Williams and Willis Halaholo who impressed last time out at the Arms Park.

The clash is the first of three consecutive home URC matches at the Arms Park, with clashes against Cell C Sharks and Dragons also on the horizon.

Cardiff Rugby: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Ben Thomas, Josh Adams; Rhys Priestland, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Josh Navidi, Will Boyde, James Ratti

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull, Tomos Williams, Willis Halaholo, Matthew Morgan