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Navidi captains Cardiff in Ospreys derby

First Team News | 22nd April 2022

Josh Navidi continues as captain as Cardiff prepare to welcome Ospreys to the Arms Park for the penultimate home game of the United Rugby Championship season on Saturday (KO 5.15pm).

The Swansea-based club will visit the home of the Blue and Blacks for a league encounter for the first time in nine years, with the majority of fixtures having taken place at the Principality Stadium in recent years.

Aled Summerhill and Corey Domachowski are both sidelined following last week's encouraging performance against Saracens. Theo Cabango returns to the back three in Summerhill’s place, with the academy wing enjoying a breakthrough campaign having scored four tries in his first five senior outings for the Blue and Blacks. He joins Wales internationals Owen Lane and Hallam Amos in the back three.

Max Llewellyn has a new midfield partner in the returning Samoan international, Rey Lee-Lo, but the half back partnership of Tomos Williams and Rhys Priestland continues.

A double change in the front row sees Rhys Carré and Dmitri Arhip welcomed into the starting XV, either side of hooker Liam Belcher.

The final change in the pack sees number eight James Ratti reintroduced into the back row alongside Shane Lewis-Hughes and Josh Navidi, having recovered from a niggle he picked up against Scarlets earlier this month.

Cardiff Director of Rugby, Dai Young said: “We’re all really excited about the opportunity that presents itself on Saturday and are looking forward to getting back in front of our home fans. 

“We let ourselves down the last time we were here against the Scarlets so there is no shortage of motivation to prove a point and right some wrongs.

“The boys are desperate to give themselves and everyone associated with the club something to be proud of and we go into the game on the back of a much-improved performance against Saracens. We know we need to hit that level of performance once again and maintain it for the full 80 minutes while being disciplined and accurate. 

“There’s no doubt that the Ospreys will present a significant challenge, they are a quality team with a formidable pack and some very good backs. They will be coming here targeting a win.

“But we can only concentrate on ourselves and make sure we do everything in our power to produce the required level of performance. The boys have trained well this week, there has been a bit of an edge and now we are just looking forward to kick-off and the opportunity we have.”

Dai Young has firepower to call upon from the bench, with seven internationals included amongst the replacements.

Cardiff Rugby: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Max Llewellyn, Theo Cabango; Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Liam Belcher, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Josh Navidi (capt.), James Ratti.

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Matthew Screech, James Botham, Lloyd Williams, Jarrod Evans, Matthew Morgan