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Williams starts as one of five changes for crucial Scarlets clash

Blues News | 2nd January 2020

Nick Williams returns to the number eight jersey as Cardiff Blues make five changes for Friday night’s Guinness PRO14 derby against the Scarlets.

Following festive triumphs over the Ospreys and Dragons, the Blues are targeting a hat-trick of Welsh derby wins and a five consecutive triumphs in the Championship.

John Mulvihill has named an unchanged backline but has reshuffled his pack for the visit of the west Walians, with an emphasis on physicality and power.

Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews come into the front-row for Brad Thyer and Keiron Assiratti, while Filo Paulo replaces James Ratti in the second-row.

There are two further changes in the back-row with Nick Williams making his comeback from injury and Will Boyde returning to face his former side. Josh Navidi continues in the back-row and captains the side.

Mulvihill said: “This will be our third game in 13 days so we have refreshed the pack to ensure we can match the Scarlets physically.

“We are starting to get a few of our injured players back on the pitch and it is great to have Nick Williams back this week.

“He will be champing at the bit to perform in front of his mother before she returns to New Zealand, as will Will Boyde, who has been the signing of the season and will be determined to prove a point to his former side.”

The Scarlets go into the encounter on the back of an emphatic victory over the Ospreys on Boxing Day and a slender defeat to the Dragons.

Cardiff Blues secured back-to-back bonus-point victories over the Scarlets last season and John Mulvihill believes Wales’ Capital Region can go into the encounter with real confidence.

Mulvihill added: “We’re going into this game with a bit of confidence after four victories in the PRO14 and two good derby wins.

“It was fantastic to see a full Arms Park last week and we are expecting another sell out on Friday night. There is nowhere better to play than our home ground and we’re looking forward to another electric atmosphere.

“We are under no illusions of how tough a challenge it will be against the Scarlets, who have been one of the form teams in the competition this season, but if we can play to our potential for the full 80 minutes there is no reason why we can’t make it a clean sweep of derby wins.”

Cardiff Blues: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Ben Thomas, Josh Adams; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Liam Belcher, Scott Andrews, Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi (capt.), Will Boyde, Nick Williams

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Corey Domachowski, Keiron Assiratti, James Ratti, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Jason Tovey, Matthew Morgan

To secure your ticket click here or call 029 20 302030. The Cardiff Blues ticket office is open until 5pm today and from 9am on Thursday.