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Adams starts as Dai Young makes nine changes

Blues News | 7th May 2021


Josh Adams will start for Cardiff Blues just days after he was named in the British and Irish Lions squad to face South Africa this summer.

The Wales wing is one of several star players to return for the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash against the Dragons, with Dai Young making a total of nine changes from the defeat to Ospreys in the opening round.

Adams, who is the latest in a long line of Lions from Cardiff, is one of two changes in the backline with Jamie Hill starting at scrum-half and Ben Thomas moving to fly-half.

This sees a continuation of the midfield partnership between Max Llewellyn and Owen, with Hallam Amos and Jason Harries also retained in the back three.

The remaining seven changes all come in the pack with a host of established stars adding muscle and firepower for the derby showdown.

Wales props Rhys Carré and Dillon Lewis return to pack down either side of Kirby Myhill, while Seb Davies and Cory Hill form and all international second-row.

Sam Moore returns to action for the first time since December, having recovered from a knee injury and is joined in the back row by the experience of Josh Turnbull and Olly Robinson, who complete the line-up.

Director of rugby, Young, said: “We learnt a few things against Ospreys, some positive and some things not so positive. We were playing against a much more experienced team. For big parts of the game we did okay but it got away from us. It was an exercise that needed to happen.

“This week we’re much stronger. I wouldn’t say we’re at full strength, or what most people perceive to be full strength, but we’re much closer to it. 

“We’re respecting this competition but it’s also a real opportunity to sort through what could be a starting 23 moving forward to next year. It’s important to give people opportunities to force their way into that but as this competition goes we will get closer and closer to our best 23.

“Dragons are one of the most improved sides in the competition over the last couple of seasons.

“They’ve probably been a little bit unlucky with some of their results and Dean has done a great job there.

“They’ll be heading down here with confidence after their win over Scarlets and will be desperately targeting a long-awaited win here so there’s no doubt that we’ll need to be on top of our game on Sunday.”

There is a mix of youth and experience included on the bench, with Welsh internationals Kristian Dacey, Jarrod Evans and Willis Halaholo all returning to the fold.

Young scrum half Ellis Bevan will look for similar impact after scoring a debut try from the bench at Liberty Stadium a fortnight ago.

James Botham (calf), Matthew Morgan (groin), Rey Lee-Lo (leg) were not considered for selection due to injury, while Ellis Jenkins is unlikely to feature again this season due to a minor injury to his left knee. 

Cardiff Blues: Hallam Amos; Jason Harries, Owen Lane, Max Llewellyn, Josh Adams; Ben Thomas, Jamie Hill; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill (capt), Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Cory Hill, Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson, Sam Moore.

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Brad Thyer, Will Davies-King, Teddy Williams, James Ratti, Ellis Bevan, Jarrod Evans, Willis Halaholo