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Lewis returns to starting XV as one of three changes

Blues News | 9th October 2020

Wales international Dillon Lewis returns to the starting line-up as Cardiff Blues make three changes for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 encounter against Connacht (KO 7.35pm).

The prop, who was one of six Cardiff Blues players selected in the Wales squad earlier this week, came off the bench during the opening day win over Zebre in Parma.

With an unchanged backline heading into the clash at Rodney Parade, a further two changes are made amongst the pack, with Kirby Myhill joining Lewis in the front row, replacing the injured Liam Belcher in the number two jersey.

Josh Turnbull has been banned for three weeks following his red card against the Italians, with Olly Robinson replacing the utility forward in the back row.

Prop Corey Domachowski retains the starting spot at loosehead, as he clocks in at half century of appearances for his home region.

Elsewhere in the pack, James Botham switches to number eight, having featured on the openside last week, and Cory Hill continues as captain, linking up with Seb Davies at lock.

With no changes in the backline, last week’s Guinness Man of the Match, Jarrod Evans, continues his partnership with Lloyd Williams at half back.

Willis Halaholo is retained at inside centre, joining Rey Lee-Lo in midfield, after making a long-awaited return from a serious knee injury during last week’s encounter.

On form wing Josh Adams, who has eight tries in nine appearances for the region, combines with Matthew Morgan and Hallam Amos in the back three, before he departs for international duty.

Head coach John Mulvihill said: “The performance and result out in Italy last week was really pleasing for us as a group, and everyone who featured showed their maturity and game management to get us over the line in tough conditions after the red card.

“The defence was excellent, while Josh took his try very well, so we can certainly take confidence from that performance as we head into our first home game of the season

“As a group, we’re all looking for consistency, and that starts this week. We won last week, but an important message throughout the week is that we’re not content with that unless we back it up with another good performance this week.

“The changes to the side have been minimal, and we want to reward those boys who have performed well in recent games.

“Connacht will have a similar mindset, after beating Glasgow Warriors in their first game last week. We have two sides who are looking to play an attractive brand of rugby so it should make for an entertaining spectacle.

“A special mention too to Corey Domachowski on his 50th appearance for the region. It’s easy to forget how young he still is, so to hit that milestone at his age, especially as a prop, is special. He’s stepped up over the last 18 months, and we’re proud to see yet another academy product featuring regularly for the club. We’re all delighted for him.”

Two new faces are introduced to the matchday squad and feature on the bench, looking for their first appearances of the 2020/21 season, with Alun Lawrence covering back row, having penned his first senior deal with the region over the summer.

Kristian Dacey, who is the highest scoring forward in the region’s history, also returns to the fold as an all-international front row provide cover from the bench.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Josh Adams, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Hallam Amos; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Cory Hill (capt.), Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson, James Botham

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Carré, Dmitri Arhip, Ben Murphy, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Garyn Smith