Strongest Cardiff Blues A team yet named to face Scarlets A

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Cardiff Blues A have named arguably their strongest team, aside from the game against Dragons A, for the final Celtic Cup fixture against Scarlets A on Friday night.

After three losses in a row, Gethin Jenkins and T Rhys Thomas have been able to call upon a number of senior Cardiff Blues players for the game at the Arms Park, reducing the requirement for Indigo Group Premiership and WRU Championship involvement.

Just four players remain from the team that lost at home against Connacht Eagles last week, which a number of senior squad members missed due to travelling to South Africa with the first team.

Up front there is an all-new front row as Francis Lewis, the Bedwas prop on permit with Cardiff RFC who scored last weekend for Cardiff Blues A, teaming up with Kirby Myhill and Ben Warren.

Teddy Williams is a survivor in the second row, where Macauley Cook returns to captain the side, while James Botham also continues on the openside, joined by Aled Ward of Cardiff Met RFC and Tim Grey to complete the back row.

In the backs there is a new half-back combination, as Jamie Hill returns from South Africa to wear nine and Dan Fish returns from injury at 10.

Ben Thomas and Max Llewellyn renew their centre partnership that led to Cardiff RFC’s Specsavers Cup win last season, with the latter also returning from injury, while Mason Grady joins Ioan Davies and Merthyr’s Sam Jones in the back three.

There is another Ironman on the bench in prop Chris Phillips, who joins Cameron Lewis and Cardiff RFC’s Ollie Drake as front row cover, while Blue and Blacks second row James Ratti is also selected, as is Wales Exiles’ Gwilym Bradley.

Zach Bartlett, another Cardiff RFC permit player, covers scrum-half, with Rhys Davies covering fly-half and Wales 7s Dafydd Smith ready to come on at centre or on the wing.

Cardiff Blues A: Ioan Davies, Sam Jones, Max Llewellyn, Ben Thomas, Mason Grady, Dan Fish, Jamie Hill; Francis Lewis, Kirby Myhill, Ben Warren, Teddy Williams, Macauley Cook (c), Aled Ward, James Botham, Tim Grey

Replacements: Cameron Lewis, Chris Phillips, Ollie Drake, James Ratti, Gwilym Bradley, Zach Bartlett, Rhys Davies, Dafydd Smith

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