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Wales Online
Wales Online
Matthew Southcombe

Cardiff v Munster team news as Liam Williams and Taulupe Faletau make debuts and All Black makes starts for the visitors

Liam Williams and Taulupe Faletau will make their debuts for Cardiff tomorrow (3:05pm) when Munster arrive at the Arms Park to kick off the United Rugby Championship season.

The pair of Lions joined up with their new club over the summer after a break from training following their involvement in Wales' summer tour of South Africa. Neither of them, nor the four other tourists in the starting side, have played since the trip to face the world champions ended on July 16.

Josh Adams, who was carrying an injury throughout that summer adventure, is back to start on one wing with Owen Lane completing the back three. The vastly-experienced Rey Lee-Lo is back at 13 to take his place alongside Max Llewellyn, with a familiar half-back pairing of Jarrod Evans and Tomos Williams beginning proceedings.

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Up front, Wales props Rhys Carre and Dillon Lewis pack down either side of Kristian Dacey, with captain Josh Turnbull moving up to lock alongside Seb Davies.

Turnbull's switch creates room for a potent back-row trio of James Botham, Thomas Young - another new signing - and Faletau.

“Our new signings have been fantastic," said Cardiff Director of Rugby Dai Young. "You can see their obvious quality in and around training and the fact that they have played in other top level environments. They will bring something a little bit different both on and off the pitch.

“We've been really pleased with what they have shown us so far and it would be great for them to really show what they can do in a Cardiff jersey come Saturday.”

The bench, which boasts plenty of international experience, has summer signing and Tongan international Lopeti Timani on it, with Willis Halaholo also returning from a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, former All Black Malakai Fekitoa makes his debut for Munster. He's a player Cardiff boss Young knows well, having signed him in 2019 during his time in charge of Wasps.

Cardiff Rugby: Liam Williams; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Max Llewellyn, Josh Adams; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kristian Dacey, Dillon Lewis; Josh Turnbull (capt.), Seb Davies; James Botham, Thomas Young, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Rhys Barratt, Dmitri Arhip, Matthew Screech, Lopeti Timani, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Uilisi Halaholo.

Munster : Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Malakai Fekitoa, Liam Coombes; Ben Healy, Paddy Patterson; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell, Keynan Knox; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements : Diarmuid Barron, Dave Kilcoyne, Roman Salanoa, Tom Ahern, John Hodnett, Neil Cronin, Jack Crowley, Rory Scannell.


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