Cardiff RFC’s first team of the season has been named by head coach Steve Law ahead of Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Old Albanians RFC at the Arms Park.
There are a number of Blue and Black debuts after the squad was strengthened extensively over the summer ahead of a critical Principality Premiership season where as many as five teams could be relegated as the league cuts participants from 16 to 12.
Kieran Martin, Zach O’Driscoll, Thomas Davies, Aaron Bidgood and Richard Powell are all included having arrived at the club over the summer, along with Amir Jiwa-Walji, Bleddyn Davies and Rory Pitman who turned out for Cardiff at the back end of last season.
Unfortunately fellow new recruits Martin Roberts, Steffan Jones and Morgan Griffiths are not available for selection this weekend, while squad members Miles Normandale, Reuben Tucker and James Beal are ruled out due to injury.
Cardiff RFC v Old Albanians: Ben Thomas, Amir Jiwa Walji, Bleddyn Davies, Adam Jones, Matthew Powell, Gareth Thompson, Aaron Bidgood, Thomas Davies, Ian Jenkins, Peter Lloyd, James Murphy, Keiron Martin, Luke Crocker, Zac O’Driscoll, Rory Pitman
The rest of the squad will take a place on the bench as Law aims to give as many players as possible a chance to show what they can do with the new season starting in two weeks against reigning Premiership champions Merthyr.
Old Albanians will present a new challenge for Cardiff RFC, with the two clubs paths not crossing at any level since the English side were formed in 1924 by St Albans School pupils in Hertfordshire.
Now playing in National 2 South, they arrive at the Arms Park for a 14:30 kick-off on Saturday, with season ticket holders free and adults costing £5.