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The regions return to league rugby in the Guinness PRO12 this weekend, which sees the arrival of more senior players coming back into their respective starting line ups. However, some of the exciting youngsters who impressed for their regions when handed opportunities during the LV= Cup recently have another chance to play for their regions at senior level as they battle to hold down a regular spot in their side.

Cardiff Blues

New recruit Gareth Anscombe will make his Cardiff Blues debut after being named at full back for the Guinness PRO12 clash with Edinburgh Rugby at BT Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon (16.00).

The former Super Rugby star is one of five changes to the Cardiff Blues team that started the last league fixture with Munster Rugby at the start of November. Dan Fish is the other change in the back division as he is named on the left wing.

Macauley Cook comes in to partner Jarrad Hoeata in the second row while Ellis Jenkins is rewarded for his outstanding form in the LV=Cup with the number seven jersey in Scotland. Kristian Dacey is named in the starting line-up at hooker, with Matthew Rees ruled out with injury, and Adam Jones will captain the region for the very first time.

Hot prospect Garyn Smith could also make his league debut with the Blues Academy product named among the replacements after also impressing in the LV= Cup.

Cardiff Blues team to play Edinburgh Rugby at BT Murrayfield on Sunday (16.00):

Gareth Anscombe, Richard Smith, Adam Thomas, Gavin Evans, Dan Fish, Gareth Davies,  Lloyd Williams;  Sam Hobbs, Kristian Dacey, Adam Jones (captain), Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Jenkins, Manoa Vosawai.

Replacements: Rhys Williams, Thomas Davies, Scott Andrews, Chris Dicomidis, Josh Navidi, Lewis Jones, Garyn Smith, Geraint Walsh.

Newport Gwent Dragons

International wing Hallam Amos, who was released from the Wales camp earlier in the week, has been selected to start for Newport Gwent Dragons in their PRO12 clash against Munster.

Including Amos, Dragons Director of Rugby Lyn Jones has made five changes to the team that participated in the record breaking win against the Ospreys last weekend.

Fullback Geraint Rhys Jones is joined in the back three by Tyler Morgan and Welsh International Hallam Amos. The centre pairing of Ross Wardle and Ashley Smith remains in place after impressing last weekend. 22-year-old Dorian Jones gets the nod at fly-half and is joined in the halfbacks by Richie Rees.

South African prop Brok Harris gets his first start in the Pro12 as he moves from tight head to loose head. Harris is joined in the front row by 20-year-old hooker Elliot Dee and prop Dan Way. Cory Hill and Rynard Landman take their places once again in the second row, with the latter also taking on the role of skipper. The back row has one change made to it as flanker James Thomas is joined by Nic Cudd, who replaces James Benjamin; number eight Lewis Evans retains his place.

Newport Gwent Dragons team to face Munster at Rodney Parade tonight (19.30):

Geraint Rhys Jones, Tyler Morgan, Ross Wardle, Ashley Smith, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Richie Rees; Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Dan Way, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman (captain), James Thomas, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans.

Replacements: T. Rhys Thomas, Owen Evans, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Ollie Griffiths, Jonathan Evans, Jason Tovey, Ashton Hewitt.


The Ospreys have made big changes to their starting line up for their clash away against Ulster with a host of first team regulars returning to help the region try and grab an elusive away win against Ulster. The Ospreys know there are few tougher venues to visit in the league than the Kingspan Stadium, where they will receive a thorough examination of their title credentials tonight.

Rory Thornton and Ifereimi Boladau will make their Guinness PRO12 debuts if they come off the bench.

The Ospreys team to face Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium tonight (19.35):

Dan Evans, Tom Grabham, Andrew Bishop, Ashley Beck, Aisea Natoga, Sam Davies, Martin Roberts; Duncan Jones, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Peers (captain), Rynier Bernardo, James King, Sam Lewis, Dan Baker.

Replacements: Matthew Dwyer, Marc Thomas, Cai Griffiths, Rory Thornton, Ifereimi Boladau, Ieuan Jones, Tom Habberfield, Hanno Dirksen.


Scarlets welcome the return of All Blacks centre Regan King to the starting line-up for the Guinness PRO12 clash against Glasgow Warriors at Parc y Scarlets tonight (19.35).

King will be joined by Gareth Owen at inside centre while Harry Robinson and flying Fijian Michael Tagicakibau add power and pace out wide. Young fullback Steff Evans has been rewarded with the 15 shirt after strong and solid performances against Zebre in the last round of the PRO12, and Northampton Saints and Cardiff Blues in the LV= Cup.

John Barclay adds weight to the back of the scrum and will also lead the Scarlets against his former side. Joining him in the backrow will be Aaron Shingler and James Davies. The region’s return to Guinness PRO12 action will also see Shingler senior make his 100th appearance for the Scarlets.

The South African pairing of George Earle and Johan Snyman pack down at second row whilst tighthead prop Peter Edwards adds experience and maturity to the youthful front row pairing of Rob Evans and Kirby Myhill.

Scarlets team to play Glasgow at Parc y Scarlets tonight (19.35):

Steffan Evans, Harry Robinson, Regan King, Gareth Owen, Michael Tagicakibau, Steven Shingler, Aled Davies; Rob Evans, Kirby Myhill, Peter Edwards, George Earle,  Johan Snyman, Aaron Shingler, James Davies,  John Barclay (captain).

Replacements: Emyr Phillips, Phil John, Jacobie Adriaanse, Rob McCusker, Rory Pitman, Rhodri Williams, Rhys Priestland, Steffan Hughes