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Lane set for first competitive start of the season in Newcastle Euro trip

First Team News | 16th December 2022

Owen Lane will make his first appearance of the season as Cardiff travel to Newcastle in the European Challenge Cup.

The Blue and Blacks head into the second round of pool stage action on the back of a 41-0 bonus point win over Brive on the opening weekend.

Lane, who has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury ahead of the opening match of the season, will line up in the back three alongside Ben Thomas and Josh Adams.

Rhys Priestland and Tomos Williams form the half back partnership as Max Llewellyn and Rey Lee-Lo continue in midfield.

Welsh internationals Ellis Jenkins and Taulupe Faletau are introduced in the back row, while Rory Thornton replaces Lopeti Timani in the second row.  A front row of Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill and Dmitri Arhip complete the starting XV.

Director of Rugby, Dai Young was pleased with the opening triumph over Brive but has warned his side that Newcastle will present a much more formidable challenge in the North East.

He said: “We began the competition with a good win over Brive. The boys got the job done with a bonus-point win but there were large parts of the performance that need to improve and that’s been the focus this week.

“Newcastle are a quality team, they are formidable at home and they realistically need to win to keep their European campaign alive. So we know it is going to be a big challenge at Kingston Park.

“However, we travel up there with a bit of confidence and momentum, with two bonus-point wins from our last three games, and with plenty of motivation to go into the Welsh derbies on a high. 

“We will certainly need to be at our best for the occasion and we are travelling with pretty much the best squad available with us, while managing one or two players following an intense period. 

“If we can win, or pick up points, in Newcastle it puts us in a very good place in the Challenge Cup and going back into the United Rugby Championship.”

Scrum half Ellis Bevan is in-line for his European debut from the bench. Last week’s try scorers Theo Cabango, Mason Grady and Teddy Williams are all named amongst the replacements.

Cardiff: Ben Thomas; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Max Llewellyn, Josh Adams; Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Ellis Jenkins, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Brad Thyer, Will Davies-King, Teddy Williams, James Ratti, Ellis Bevan, Mason Grady, Theo Cabango