Priestland to make competitive debut against Connacht

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Dai Young has named his Cardiff side for the opening game at the United Rugby Championship against Connacht on Friday at the Arms Park, kick-off 7.35pm.

The major story is that fly-half Rhys Priestland starts on his first competitive appearance for the Blue and Blacks after his summer move from Bath, while Matthew Screech also starts on his second debut at the club after returning from eight years at the Dragons.

Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill and Dmitri Arhip form a physical starting front row, while Seb Davies joins Screech in the second row as James Ratti makes a first league start in his new position of number eight. Josh Turnbull and Ellis Jenkins complete the back row, with the former leading the team for the first time since being named club captain.

Lloyd Williams gets the nod to join Priestland at half-back, while the familiar duo of Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo start together in the centre. Owen Lane, Jason Harries and Hallam Amos form the back three with Josh Adams only just returning to training after the British & Irish Lions tour.

A young Welsh replacement front row of Rhys Carre, Liam Belcher and Dillon Lewis prepare to make an impact, while Rory Thornton covers lock and Will Boyde is the back row option after 10 months away from league action with a serious facial injury. International duo Tomos Williams and Jarrod Evans are the half-back cover while Max Llewellyn gets the nod to cover the outside backs.

Cardiff: Hallam Amos, Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Jason Harries, Rhys Priestland, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Josh Turnbull (c), Ellis Jenkins, James Ratti

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Rory Thornton, Will Boyde, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Max Llewellyn

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