Cardiff RFC in back row crisis ahead of trip to Ebbw Vale

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Cardiff RFC head coach Steve Law is dealing with a severe shortage of back rowers ahead of Saturday’s trip to Ebbw Vale, kick-off 2.30pm at Eugene Cross Park.

The Blue and Blacks are without the suspended Morgan Allen as well as the injured Alex Everett and James Thomas, while there is also no sign of Zach O’Driscoll in this weekend’s matchday 23.

In their place in the starting XV are Sam Pailor, as he switches back from the second row, Nathan Hudd, making his first start for the Blue and Blacks, and Macauley Cook, playing out of position at number eight.

There is then no second row or back row cover on the bench, with hooker Iestyn Harris set to wear the number 20 jersey and the dreaded ‘A.N Other’ named in the 19 jersey for now.

In front of them Brynley Toms gets the nod at loosehead prop with Ollie Drake returning to fitness at tighthead, while Callum Bradbury and Kieran Martin pack down together in the second row for the first time this season.

The backs are more settled though with Tom Habberfield and Gareth Thompson continuing at half-back, and Barney Nightingale, Teri Gee and Edd Howley forming the back three.

There is just a slight change in the centre where Jack Brooks and Max Llewellyn will team up for the first time.

Elsewhere on the bench Matthew Petit continues to pause his retirement to cover tighthead while Ioan Davies returns from an ankle injury to cover the back three.

Cardiff RFC: Edd Howley, Barney Nightingale, Max Llewellyn, Jack Brooks, Teri Gee, Gareth Thompson, Tom Habberfield; Brynley Toms, Evan Yardley, Ollie Drake, Kieran Martin, Callum Bradbury, Sam Pailor, Nathan Hudd, Macauley Cook

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Thomas Davies, Matthew Petit, A.N Other, Iestyn Harris, Ethan Lloyd, Joe Scrivens, Ioan Davies

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