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Williams hits 250 as Cardiff name side to face Brive

First Team News | 9th December 2022

Lloyd Williams will become the second Cardiff player of the modern era to reach 250 appearances for the club as he starts in Saturday’s European Challenge Cup opener against CA Brive (KO 5.30pm).

The homegrown scrum half follows in the footsteps of Taufa’ao Filise in achieving the significant landmark, and moves within five of the Tongan’s record appearance total.

Williams, who has spent his entire professional career with Cardiff, made his debut for the club in 2010, and has also earned 32 Test caps for Wales, winning three Six Nations titles in the process.

The scrum half, who follows father Brynmor in representing the Blue and Blacks, is paired at half back with Jarrod Evans, as Dai Young welcomes his international contingent back into the squad.

British and Irish Lion Josh Adams immediately returns to the wing in a new-look back three alongside Ben Thomas and Theo Cabango, after the latter missed out on last week’s clash with Vodacom Bulls through injury.

Max Llewellyn and Rey Lee-Lo are reunited in midfield, after the duo were also absent in Pretoria, but only a single change is made to the pack as James Ratti replaces James Botham in the number eight jersey.

Captain Josh Turnbull and Thomas Young combine on the flanks, with Lopeti Timani and Seb Davies forming the second row. A front row of Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey and Dmitri Arhip complete the line-up.

Cardiff Director of Rugby, Dai Young said: “It’s great to be back at the Arms Park and we’re looking forward to getting our European campaign underway.

“We have a little bit of confidence and have been boosted by the return of our internationals but Brive pose a significant threat.

“They may sit at the bottom of the TOP14 but they are a massive club with great tradition and going into a new competition they have nothing to lose, the pressure is off and they can give it a crack.

“We will need to be at our best to ensure we do not fall victims to that. The pressure is on us and we have to rise to the occasion.”

There is further international firepower on the bench, with the return of Dillon Lewis, Taulupe Faletau, Tomos Williams and Rhys Priestland from Wales duty.

Cardiff face a trip to Newcastle Falcons next week, before the festive derbies kick off, with the Blue and Blacks taking on Dragons RFC at Rodney Parade and welcoming Ospreys and Scarlets to the capital in the new year.

Cardiff: Ben Thomas; Josh Adams, Rey Lee-Lo, Max Llewellyn, Theo Cabango; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, Lopeti Timani, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Thomas Young, James Ratti

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Teddy Williams, Taulupe Faletau, Tomos Williams, Rhys Priestland, Mason Grady

Unavailable for selection: Josh Navidi, Owen Lane, Willis Halaholo, Liam Williams, Jacob Beetham, Gwilym Bradley, Rory Thornton, James Botham