Blog Banner

James returns to competitive action ahead of Cardiff Blues A's trip to Leinster

14th September 2018

Cardiff Blues A have made five changes ahead of this weekend's Celtic Cup clash against Leinster A, as the region's top try scorer, Tom James, returns to competitive action.

The wing is drafted into the starting line-up, after Aled Summerhill was ruled out through injury, following his try-scoring display in the bonus point win over Dragons A last week.
Another change amongst the backline for the trip to the Irish capital sees Wales under-20 international Max Llewellyn making his first start, replacing Cam Lewis at outside centre.
Three further changes are made in the pack, with Alun Lawrence returning at lock, after being ruled out of the Rodney Parade clash at the 11th hour, with illness. Lawrence replaces Macauley Cook, who linked up with the senior side in Italy earlier in the week.
Rhys Carre has also made the trip to Italy, and is replaced by the returning Corey Domachowski at loosehead, while Sion Bennett also makes a comeback and takes his place in the back row.
Liam Belcher once again captains the side at Energia Park, while Dan Fish and Tom Williams are retained in the back three after securing a brace of tries each in Newport.
Head coach, Richie Rees, is delighted with the balance of his side, but expects another tough encounter against the Dublin-based outfit.
Rees said: “We’ve looked back at what was a really pleasing victory over Dragons A last week, and have worked hard during the week on areas that we need to sharpen up ahead of what will be a tough test out in Dublin.
“But the experience as a whole will be really important for the younger boys involved. It’s an opportunity to have a taste of all aspects involved with travelling to an away game, which will be a huge advantage for them when they get called up for senior duty in the future.
“We’re glad to be able to keep the spine of the squad that featured in Rodney Parade, but there’s some really good additions in there as well. 
“Tom James’ experience will be massive for us, especially ahead of this type of games, and Ben Jones, Max Llewellyn, Ben Thomas and Ioan Davies can only benefit from playing and training alongside these experienced players.
“The Celtic Cup is also a great way of gradually bringing players back into the fold following long-term injuries, so it’s pleasing to be able to have boys like Shane Lewis-Hughes, who had a good outing last week, and Sion Bennett in there.
“Again, we’re looking to carry momentum into this game, and if we can get the performance right, hopefully that will have a positive effect on the result. There’s a real aim at the end of this block, to qualify for the final, and the boys are really hungry for that chance.”
Ioan Davies, who made his Cardiff RFC debut against Llandovery last weekend, is a new name on the bench, alongside Blue and Blacks back row, Luke Crocker, and Wales under 20 scrum half, Dane Blacker.
Cardiff Blues A to face Leinster A: Dan Fish; Tom Williams, Max Llewellyn, Steven Shingler, Tom James; Ben Jones, Lewis Jones; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher (capt), Keiron Assiratti, Alun Lawrence, James Down, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Sion Bennett, Cai Devine
Replacements: Iestyn Harris, Fraser Young, Will Davies King, Ioan Rhys Davies, Luke Crocker, Dane Blacker, Ben Thomas, Ioan Davies