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Six Wales players return for Munster match

First Team News | 29th March 2024

Cardiff have been boosted by the return of six further Wales internationals as they travel to face Munster in the BKT United Rugby Championship on Saturday (7:35pm). 

While the likes of Mason Grady and Mackenzie Martin returned to Blue and Black last week, others with more regular international game-time were given a week to recover. However, they are now back available and in action for the Easter weekend trip to Thomond Park. 

Cam Winnett returns to the number 15 jersey having continued his impressive season on the international stage and he is joined in the back-three by Josh Adams and Owen Lane, who steps up from the bench, with Mason Grady moving into the centre. 

In the forwards, Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti pack down either side of Liam Belcher to form a familiar Rhondda front-row, while Alex Mann is back on the blindside flank. 

Matt Sherratt has made eight changes in total with Seb Davies and Ellis Jenkins also coming into the starting line-up after Shane Lewis-Hughes and Teddy Williams were ruled out. 

The Cardiff Rugby head coach said: “It’s great to get the rest of our Internationals back this week, they are all quality players who give us some strength in depth across the squad. 

“Having them in and around the environment raises standards and the intensity of training and it’s just a case of quickly reintroducing them back into our systems and shape. 

“We were pleased with a lot of aspects last week up in Glasgow, and the challenge now is to build upon that against another quality team - the reigning champions and a difficult place to play in Thomond Park. 

“They have threats across the pitch and are a much more well rounded team than what has perhaps been perceived as a traditional Munster team in the past, so we will have to be at our best. But we have prepared well and are looking forward to another opportunity to improve.

“We have a difficult end to the season, with a lot of tough teams away from home and the challenge for this group is to continue showing the characteristics we have talked about all season in terms of fight, commitment and attacking ambition, while learning and improving week to week.”

Evan Lloyd also returns from international duty to take his place on the replacements bench, where he is joined by further quality and experience. 

Twelve of the starting XV, and 18 of the match-day squad, are products of the Cardiff pathway system. 

Rhys Carré, Will Davies-king, Thomas Young and Jacob Beetham back up from the bench after starting in Glasgow, while Rory Thornton and Theo Cabango make welcome returns from injury. 

Cardiff Rugby: Cam Winnett; Owen Lane, Mason Grady, Ben Thomas, Josh Adams; Tinus de Beer, Ellis Bevan; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher (captain), Keiron Assiratti, Ben Donnell, Seb Davies, Alex Mann, Ellis Jenkins, Mackenzie Martin.

Replacements: Rhys Carré, Evan Lloyd, Will Davies-King, Rory Thornton, Thomas Young, Matthew Aubrey, Jacob Beetham, Theo Cabango