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Cardiff Blues A mix youth and experience for Summerfest's Dragons A encounter

Age Grade & Academy | 3rd September 2019


Cardiff Blues A have named an exciting mix of youth and experience for their Celtic Cup clash against the Dragons A (3.30pm), as preparations intensify for the Guinness PRO14 season.

With the senior coaching team taking charge of the Arms Park encounter, some familiar faces from the senior squad, with PRO14 experience, have been included in the 25-man squad.

Will Boyde is set for his Blues debut, having been named among the replacements bench, as has Jason Tovey, who joined from the Dragons this summer.

Alun Lawrence captains the new look outfit and is joined in the back-row by Shane Lewis-Hughes and James Botham, while Macauley Cook partners Ben Murphy in the second-row. 

Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher and Will Davies-King start in the front-row to complete a pack of Cardiff Blues academy products.

Lewis Jones partners Dan Fish at half-back, while Garyn Smith and Harri Millard line-up in midfield.

Elsewhere in the backs, Wales U20s star Ioan Davies pulls on the number 15 jersey and is joined in the back three by the experience of Jason Harries and Aled Summerhill.

Head coach John Mulvihill said: ” We have taken the opportunity to blend youth and experience for this Celtic Cup Clash. 

“Eleven players out of the starting fifteen had limited or no game time in the previous season and this game gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents under pressure. 

“We have rewarded their hard work and consistency in training this preseason with a start against a very good Dragons outfit.

"The Dragons played some really good attacking rugby against Munster last week and we see this game as a real challenge for us. 

“There will be a real festival atmosphere at Cardiff Arms Park this Saturday as our Celtic Cup game coincides with both our Annual Summerfest and the final Test before the Welsh team heads away to the World Cup. 

“This will be a great day to get our season started and we are all excited about what is in front of us this season.

“Finally, when we’re reflecting on the squad for Saturday, what we’re really proud of is that 14 of the boys who are named in the starting line-up are academy products.

“There’s a further six included on the bench, and it’s in-line with what we’re trying to achieve with our strong pathway system here at the region.”

There is a ton of experience on the bench, which includes four Wales internationals in Scott Andrews, Rory Thornton, Seb Davies and Matthew Morgan, and the Premiership newcomer, Ben Thomas.

Jamie Hill, who has featured in both Celtic Cup games to date, also appears on the bench.

Gates open ahead of the game at 1pm for the annual Summerfest event, which will include player-led Skill Masterclasses, Inflatable activities, Q&As, stadium tours and a live screening of Ireland v Wales.

The event is included in Season Membership packages and tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030

Cardiff Blues A: Ioan Davies; Jason Harries, Harri Millard, Garyn Smith, Aled Summerhill; Dan Fish, Lewis Jones; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher, Will Davies King, Ben Murphy, Macauley Cook, Shane Lewis-Hughes, James Botham, Alun Lawrence (capt)

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, Rory Thornton, Will Boyde, Jamie Hill, Jason Tovey, Matthew Morgan, Seb Davies, Ben Thomas