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Returning stars set to boost Cardiff for European opener

First Team News | 5th December 2022

Dai Young hopes to be boosted by the availability of eight to ten players, including his Welsh internationals for Saturday’s return to European Challenge Cup action. 

Cardiff host CA Brive at the Arms Park on Saturday (17:30) and go into the fixture on the back of a successful trip to South Africa, where they claimed five points, and with a host of stars returning.

Dillon Lewis, Taulupe Faletau, Tomos Williams, Rhys Priestland and Josh Adams all missed Cardiff’s trip to Durban and Pretoria due to their international commitments but return to training this week. 

They will be joined by Matthew Morgan and Rey Lee-Lo, who return to availability, while Max Llewellyn and Theo Cabango should also be in contention after picking up ankle injuries during the 35-0 victory over Cell C Sharks.

Speaking ahead of the squad’s departure from Pretoria, Young said: “The guys that took bumps out here (South Africa), if it had been a seven day turnaround, they may have made it. People like Max Llewellyn wasn’t too far away, he will be in contention, Theo Cabango will be in contention.

“It’s probably a week too early for Laney but Nipper (Matthew Morgan) will be fit and obviously we have the Welsh internationals who have been away. They have all come through unscathed.

“Rey Lee-Lo will be fine. He is another that will come back into the mix so we will have a stronger squad to pick from and probably a more recognised 23 than it was against the Bulls.

“We will certainly have eight to 10 players available for next week to add to what we have here.”

Meanwhile injured British & Irish Lions duo Liam Williams and Josh Navidi are nearing a return to action with the full-back set to feature oVeR the festive period. 

Young added: “I think Liam will definitely feature over one of the festive games. He’s coming to the end of his rehab. He’s getting very close now and it’s just a matter of getting some real hard training into him.

“Josh’s neck didn’t progress as quickly as everyone wanted so the operation was necessary. But he is feeling a lot better now, he’s been cracking on with his rehab and is in a much better place. 

“He should be back in the New Year, so he’s not too far away either.”

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