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Scully set for 50th appearance as Cardiff Blues change three for Dragons clash

20th December 2018

Blaine Scully will hit a half century of appearances for Cardiff Blues in Friday's crucial Guinness PRO14 festive derby against Dragons at Cardiff Arms Park.

Friday’s encounter at the Welsh capital kicks off a trio of festive derbies, with trips to Scarlets and Ospreys also coming up over the next fortnight.

Scully has become a firm favourite within the Arms Park faithful since his move from Leicester Tigers in 2015, and retains his place on the wing.

The captain of the USA national side is likely to be joined by George Earle in hitting the half century milestone for the region, with the South African lock named on the bench.

Number eight Nick Williams also celebrates a special achievement, making his 150th appearance in the Guinness PRO14, having also enjoyed spells at Munster, Aironi and Ulster.

John Mulvihill makes three changes from last week’s European defeat to Saracens, as the head coach welcomes international scrum half, Tomos Williams, back to the line-up following a minor injury he suffered against Ulster three weeks ago.

Olly Robinson, who featured from the bench against Saracens, is re-introduced into the starting back row, while Dillon Lewis is handed the number three jersey.

Kristian Dacey has been appointed captain for the remainder of the campaign, in the absence of the injured Ellis Jenkins, and will lead the side out on Friday.

The back three remains unchanged, meaning Dan Fish retains his place at full back following an impressive try-scoring display against the English champions last week.

Head coach, Mulvihill, said: “Finally, we’re back at home for our first derby of the season at the Arms Park.

“We’ve got a pretty strong team going in, without changing too much from last week and the confidence is there in this group, and we’ll take that into the group.

“We’ve given a fair few guys an opportunity recently, whether that’s through form and injury, and we don’t want many changes from week-to-week to get a bit of consistency of selection and effort.

“Consistency is something we probably haven’t had much of this season, but we’re targeting these three derby games and will look to go as close to full strength as possible in every game we play.

“Kristian Dacey has been appointed as the captain of the team for the rest of the season. We’ve used Olly Robinson, Josh Turnbull and Lloyd Williams over recent weeks, but if we can get a long-term version of the captain, it’ll be good for us as a group.

“That was announced to the squad this week and the boys are happy and will get behind him and support him.”

Scrum half Lloyd Williams has recovered from a facial injury to take his place on the bench, and will over-take T Rhys Thomas, taking him to third-placed in Cardiff Blues’ all-time appearance makers list.

Cardiff Blues: Dan Fish; Blaine Scully, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Garyn Smith; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey (capt), Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Olly Robinson, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, George Earle, James Down, Lloyd Williams, Steven Shingler, Matthew Morgan