Preview: Cardiff RFC v Swansea

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The Indigo Group Premiership returns this weekend after an intermission as Cardiff welcome second city rival Swansea to the Arms Park.

Steve Law’s men currently sit top of the league after two wins from two so far, but they were made to work hard for both with a last-minute kick beating Pontypridd and a second half comeback defeating Llanelli.

The Blue and Blacks will be out for revenge after a loss at St Helens back in April was a major reason that we weren’t able to top Merthyr in the Premiership.

Cardiff can take confidence from two convincing wins in the last two editions of this fixture at the Arms Park though, winning 53-25 in 2017/18, and 24-5 last season.

Swansea have had a solid start to this campaign, securing a comfortable win over Llanelli before just missing out against the other unbeaten team in the league, Aberavon.

The Whites welcome back a number of players who have been on Celtic Cup duty with Ospreys Development for this game, as well as some faces from the Ospreys Academy.

Ifan Phillips is in at hooker, alongside Greg Cunniffe at tighthead, while Jay Williams returns to the second row and Morgan Morris is back at blindside.

James Davies gets the nod at fly-half while Kieran Williams will make his Swansea debut from inside centre, and Phil Jones is named at full-back.

Swansea: Phil Jones, Max Nagy, Rhys Williams, Kieran Williams, Gareth Rees, James Davies, Chris Morgans, Tom Sloane, Ifan Phillips, Greg Cunniffe, Shaun O’Rourke, Jay Williams, Morgan Morris, Callum Bowden, Jon Fox (c)

Replacements: Eddie Drake, Jordan Pritchard, Cai Davies, Duane Eager, Liam Seaward, Keiran Charles, Callum Carson

Cardiff are also able to welcome back some Cardiff Blues Academy players who have been featuring in the Celtic Cup, including Ben Thomas at inside centre.

The 21-year-old was a standout player for the Blue and Blacks last season, and won the Premiership’s Young Player of the Year Award.

Teddy Williams is also included, making his Cardiff debut at second row, while Kirby Myhill packs down at hooker.

Other changes to the team that beat Llanelli three weeks ago see Ollie Drake come in for Peter Lloyd at tighthead, James Thomas makes his first Blue and Blacks start ahead of Alex Everett, Tom Habberfield wear nine in place of Ben Williams, and James Beal come on to the wing rather than Barney Nightingale.

On the bench there are nods for Cardiff Blues Academy prop Will Davies-King and first teamer Dan Fish, while Sam Pailor and Leon Andrews drop down.

Cardiff RFC: Joe Scrivens, James Beal, Sam Beard, Ben Thomas, Joe Gatt, Gareth Thompson, Tom Habberfield; Thomas Davies, Evan Yardley, Ollie Drake, Teddy Williams, James Ratti, James Thomas, Zach O’Driscoll, Morgan Allen (c)

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Lewis Francis, Will Davies-King, Sam Pailor, Alex Everett, Ben Williams, Leon Andrews, Dan Fish

This game starts a run of four home matches in five weeks for Cardiff, who will be looking to gain momentum ahead of a tough December that includes trips to Llandovery and Pontypridd, as well as hosting Merthyr.

Grabbing a win and making a statement will go a long way to building on the start of the season and getting into a run of league winning form.

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