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Myhill leads Cardiff Blues in Rainbow Cup opener

First Team News | 23rd April 2021

Kirby Myhill will captain Cardiff Blues as the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup gets underway with a trip to face the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening.

Director of rugby, Dai Young has taken the opportunity to utilise his wider squad with a new look team for the opening encounter of the new competition.

Hallam Amos is the only survivor in the starting line-up from the dramatic European Challenge Cup defeat to London Irish at the beginning of the month with Owen Lane, Ben Thomas and James Ratti all utilised in new positions.

Myhill packs down in an experienced front-row with Rhys Gill and Keiron Assiratti, while Ben Murphy and Rory Thornton combine in the second-row. 

Ratti pulls on the number eight jersey for the first time, with Alun Lawrence and Gwilym Bradley named on the flanks.

Behind the pack, Lewis Jones and Jason Tovey link up at half-back, while Max Llewellyn and Owen Lane combine in the centre. Ben Thomas pulls on the number 15 jersey and he is joined in the back three by Jason Harries and Hallam Amos.

Young said: “We have decided to mix the squad up a little bit in our first couple of games as we have a lot of guys who have not played a lot of rugby this season.

“I obviously didn’t come into the job until January, and have now agreed a long-term deal, and I want to see all of the players in contention in our squad playing in competitive games before we go into pre-season. 

“It’s important that I see them out on the pitch so I can get a better understanding of their abilities and make up my own mind on them.

“So we are using this clash to get more of the squad on the pitch and also as an opportunity to run players in different positions. This is not playing them out of position, this is playing them in a different position to develop more strength in depth across the board.

“The Ospreys are always a tough proposition, particularly at their own place, and I am sure they will look to put the squeeze on us up front but we have picked a team to be competitive and win.

“We want to win every game we play in but this is also about the bigger picture, exposing players and developing our squad for the future. They are all desperate to make a good impression and I am really looking forward to seeing how they go.”

The blend of youth and experience continues among the replacements with Wales Under-20s scrum-half Ellis Bevan and Clifton College student Immanuel Feyi-Waboso both in line for their competitive debut.

Cardiff Blues: B Thomas; J Harries, O Lane, M Llewellyn, H Amos; J Tovey, L Jones; R Gill, K Myhill (capt), K Assiratti, B Murphy, R Thornton, A Lawrence, G Bradley, J Ratti.

Replacement: L Belcher, R Carré, W Davies-King, T Williams, O Robinson, E Bevan, D Fish, I Feyi-Waboso