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Thomas leads new look Blue and Blacks

First Team News | 28th September 2023

Ben Thomas will captain a new look Cardiff Rugby team to take on the Scarlets in a pre-season friendly at the Arms Park tomorrow evening (7pm).

The homegrown centre leads a Blue and Blacks side including two new signings and a further three debutants in the starting line-up. 

Rhys Carré starts provides experience in a front-row including academy product Evan Lloyd and Ciaran Parker, who joined the club in the summer. 

Shane Lewis-Hughes and Rory Thornton provide further experience in the second-row while Alex Mann, Lucas De La Rua and Mackenzie Martin form a young and exciting back-row. 

In the backs, Ellis Bevan and new signing Tinus de Beer will pull the strings, with Thomas and Harri Millard making up the centres. Theo Cabango, Owen Lane and Jacob Beetham make up the back three. 

Cardiff Rugby head coach Matt Sherratt said: “It’s been a long off-season, so we are really looking forward to getting back out on the pitch for what should be an entertaining encounter and an important step in our preparations for the BKT United Rugby Season. 

“We have had a bit of illness in the group this week so the team is a little younger than we had planned -  we had initially looked to have a few more experienced heads alongside the younger lads.

“But that said, there is still a good blend of youth, experience and some new faces, who have joined us in the summer. 

“Both the Scarlets and ourselves want to get as many young players out there as we can while trying to match the teams.

“Traditionally both teams play an entertaining brand of rugby and want to move the ball so it and there will be no shortage of effort from players determined to make an impression.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for young, local talent with plenty of potential this season and we are hoping for a good crowd to get behind them as the URC season edges closer.” 

The Blue and Blacks will utilise rolling replacements with 13 players named on the bench including new signings Rhys Litterick and Arwel Robson, as well as Matthew Aubrey, who is with the club on permit. 

Cardiff Rugby to take on the Scarlets on Friday, September 29 (7pm):

Cardiff Rugby: J Beetham; O Lane, H Millard, B Thomas (C), T Cabango; T De Beer, E Bevan; R Carré, E Lloyd, C Parker, S Lewis-Hughes, R Thornton, A Mann, L De La Rua, M Martin.

Replacements: E Daniel, R Barratt, W Davies-King, R Litterick, T Williams, E Jenkins, J Botham, M Aubrey*, A Robson, A Summerhill, C Winnett, H James, R Lee-Lo