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Wales Online
Wales Online
Ben James

Ospreys v Cardiff Judgement Day team news as Anscombe starts and Wales stars switch positions

The Ospreys and Cardiff have both named strong sides ahead of their Judgement Day shoot-out for the Welsh Shield and a Champions Cup place this weekend.

Heading into the final day clash at the Principality Stadium this Saturday, play-off ambitions are out of reach for both sides but the opportunity to secure a place at the top table of European rugby for next season is still up for grabs.

Both teams are able to name strong sides packed with internationals, while there's also a fair few set for a final farewell as Welsh rugby braces itself for several departures after an uncertain season.

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The Ospreys sit four points behind Cardiff in the table. However, as the Arms Park side have won more matches this year, which is the tie-breaker after overall points, then Toby Booth's side will need to win with a bonus point while also stopping Cardiff from picking up any points.

That's a tough ask but it's not impossible, particularly as the Ospreys are able to call upon a number of Welsh internationals to help them.

Nicky Smith will captain the side amid speculation over his future, with Sam Parry and Tomas Francis completing the front-row. In the second-row, Adam Beard partners the talismanic Alun Wyn Jones in what might be his final outing in an Ospreys jersey.

The same might be true of Dan Lydiate, who appears set to leave this summer. He shifts across to openside to accommodate Rhys Davies on the blindside, with Morgan Morris, the only non-international in the pack, staring at eight.

Rhys Webb lines up at scrum half for his 200th appearance for the team, while Gareth Anscombe starts at fly-half for the first time since returning from injury.

Owen Williams shifts across to inside centre, partnering namesake Keiran in midfield. In the back-three, Michael Collins starts at full-back, with George North and Luke Morgan on the wings.

On the bench, Harri Doel is in line to make his first appearance for the Ospreys.

For Cardiff, Rey Lee-Lo has recovered from a knee injury to take his place in the Blue and Blacks' midfield. He lines up alongside Max Llewellyn, who will feature for the club one last time before joining Gloucester this summer.

Lee-Lo's return sees Mason Grady switch to the wing in a back-three that contains Rhys Priestland and Jason Harries. Priestland's move to full-back is to accommodate Jarrod Evans' final outing for Cardiff.

The Harlequins-bound fly-half had missed Cardiff's last two matches, but is fit for the final game of the season. He'll partner Tomos Williams in the half-backs.

Up front, the front-row of Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher and Keiron Assiratti are retained, with James Ratti and Seb Davies packing down in the second-row.

The back-row consists of a trio of Welsh internationals in Josh Turnbull, Thomas Young and Taulupe Faletau, while there's more Test experience on the bench in the form of Rhys Carre, James Botham, Lloyd Williams and Dillon Lewis - the latter of whom is also joining Harlequins this summer.

Speaking about the game, Ospreys head coach Booth said: “There’s going to be a lot of emotion in this one, with it being a derby, and a Heineken Champions Cup place on the line. The key to this game, as is always the case with a local derby, is channeling that emotion into drive and determination.”

Ospreys: Michael Collins; George North, Keiran Williams, Owen Williams, Luke Morgan; Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith (capt), Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Rhys Davies, Dan Lydiate, Morgan Morris.

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Tom Botha, Huw Sutton, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Harri Doel, Max Nagy.

Cardiff: Rhys Priestland; Mason Grady, Rey Lee-Lo, Max Llewellyn, Jason Harries; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher, Keiron Assiratti, James Ratti, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull (capt.), Thomas Young, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Carré, Dillon Lewis, Teddy Williams, James Botham, Lloyd Williams, Ben Thomas, Harri Millard


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