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The regions will face each other in Welsh derbies this evening in the LV= Cup with a number of young players set to make their regional debuts in what will no doubt be two hotly contested clashes.

With Cardiff Blues hosting Scarlets and Ospreys welcoming Newport Gwent Dragons to Bridgend this regional rugby double header will provide opportunities for professional rugby’s exciting young Welsh talent to push for a regular starting place for their regions.

The regions are also handing opportunities to some of their up and coming coaches to develop their coaching experience as the LV= Cup continues to provide a proven platform for the development of talent.

Cardiff Blues

Aled Summerhill is set to make his senior debut as Cardiff Blues tackle Scarlets in a highly-anticipated Welsh derby in the LV=Cup at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (19.30).

Wales Sevens international Summerhill, who impressed for Cardiff Blues in the World Club 10s this summer, is one of four changes to the starting line-up that produced a sensational second half comeback to stun Newcastle Falcons last Friday in the north east of England.

Owen Jenkins is also called-up on the wing while lock Miles Normandale comes into the second row to partner Chris Dicomidis. The final change sees a place in the front row for prop ace Taufa’ao Filise who, when he starts the game, will become the joint all-time leading appearance maker for the region on 182 games.

Academy hot prospects Liam Belcher, Brad Thyer and Will Thomas are also named among the replacements and will make their competitive debuts for the region if introduced from the bench. A total of 17 players in the match day 23 have been or remain part of the Blues Academy system.

Cardiff Blues team to play Scarlets at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (19.30):

Dan Fish, Tom Williams, Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Owen Jenkins, Simon Humberstone, Tavis Knoyle; Thomas Davies, Rhys Williams, Taufa’ao Filise, Miles Normandale, Chris Dicomidis, Jevon Groves, Ellis Jenkins (captain), Rory Watts-Jones.

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, Lou Reed, Ben Roach, Tomos Williams, Will Thomas, Harry Davies.

Newport Gwent Dragons

Newport born Lewis Evans will make his 150th appearance for Newport Gwent Dragons this weekend when they take on the Ospreys in the LV= Cup at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field (19.35).

He is one of five personnel changes and three positional adjustments Dragons Director of Rugby Lyn Jones has made to his team that faced the Harlequins last weekend. Fullback Geraint Rhys Jones retains his place in the back three and is joined by wings Tyler Morgan and Ashton Hewitt. The centre pairing sees Ross Wardle move to outside centre as Ashley Smith returns the team to take on inside centre.

The front row sees the inclusion of Boris Stankovich as impressive young hooker Elliot Dee keeps his place as well as tight head prop Brok Harris. Lock Cory Hill is joined by Rynard Landman in the second row, Landman also takes on the role of captain for this match. James Thomas moves from the second row to his preferred position of back row and is joined by flanker James Benjamin and number eight Lewis Evans.

There are three changes to the Dragons bench as Phil Price, Jason Tovey and Matthew Pewtner join, Hugh Gustafson, Phil Price, David Young, Joe Davies, Ollie Griffiths and Luc Jones.

Newport Gwent Dragons team to face Ospreys in the LV= Cup at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field (19.35):

Geraint Rhys Jones, Tyler Morgan, Ross Wardle, Ashley Smith, Ashton Hewitt, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman (captain), James Thomas, James Benjamin, Lewis Evans.

Replacements: Hugh Gustafson, Phil Price, David Young, Joe Davies, Ollie Griffiths, Luc Jones, Jason Tovey, Matthew Pewtner.


Rob Dudley-Jones will make his Ospreys debut tonight when he lines up in the side that will face Newport Gwent Dragons at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.

After making an impressive Ospreys debut recently Ieuan Jones returns to the side to partner him in the back row as the Ospreys continue to move their home LV= Cup fixtures around the region.

Other changes see Hanno Dirksen start in the centre to partner Ashley Beck, while prop Marc Thomas and hooker Sam Parry come into a new look front row. The final change to their starting line up sees Rynier Bernardo start in the second row.

Ospreys team against Newport Gwent Dragons team in the LV= Cup at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field (19.35):

Richard Fussell, Dafydd Howells, Hanno Dirksen, Ashley Beck, Aisea Natoga, Sam Davies, Martin Roberts (captain); Marc Thomas, Sam Parry, Daniel Suter, Rory Thornton, Rynier Bernardo, Ifereimi Boladau, Rob Dudley-Jones, Ieuan Jones.

Replacements: Matthew Dwyer, Gareth Thomas, Cai Griffiths, Adam Beard, Tommy Spinks, Tom Habberfield, Dan Evans, Ashley Evans.


Scarlets have named an exciting young side to take on Cardiff Blues with ten changes to the side as more of the region’s next generation of talent are handed golden opportunities in the Welsh derby.

Winger Josh Adams and prop Ben Leung will make their Scarlets debuts on Friday evening and the Scarlets Academy graduates follow in the footsteps of last week’s debutants Shaun Jones and Kieran Hardy, who made their regional debuts against a strong Northampton last weekend.

With an average age of 21 for tonight’s starting team the Scarlets are continuing with their long-standing tradition of developing and nurturing the region’s next generation players.

Experienced back row forward Rob McCusker, 28, will lead the side with skilled winger Jordan Williams adding Guinness PRO12 and European rugby experience to the backline.

Scarlets team to take on Cardiff Blues at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (19.35):

Steffan Evans, Josh Adams, Steffan Hughes, Iolo Evans, Jordan Williams, Josh Lewis, Rhodri Davies; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Ben Leung, Shaun Jones, Phil Day, Rob McCusker (captain), Sion Bennett, Craig Price.

Replacements: Darran Harris, Gethin Robinson, Javan Sebastian, Roy Osborn, Tom Phillips, Kieran Hardy, Daniel Jones, Aaron Warren