Team News: Ioan Nicholas to captain youthful Scarlets side at Arms Park

Rob LloydNews

Ioan Nicholas will lead Scarlets for the first time in Friday’s pre-season clash with Cardiff Rugby at the Arms Park (19:00).

The centre skippers a youthful line-up that includes five players – Charlie Titcombe, Efan Jones, Lewis Morgan, Ed Scragg and Teddy Leatherbarrow – making their first senior Scarlets starts.

There is pace aplenty in a back three of Tom Rogers, Tomi Lewis and Ryan Conbeer. Eddie James links up with Nicholas in midfield, while former Loughborough University fly-half Titcombe will partner another new signing Jones, the ex-RGC No. 9.

Hooker Lewis Morgan wears the No. 2 jersey for the first time and packs down alongside Steff Thomas and Harri O’Connor in the front row.

Scragg, who impressed on his debut in the win over the Baabaas earlier this month, starts at lock alongside Morgan Jones in the second row. In the back row, Ben Williams switches from No. 8 to blindside flanker; Leatherbarrow gets the chance at openside and Carwyn Tuipulotu returns from injury at No. 8.

There are 13 players named among the replacements, including fit-again Scott Williams, Wales internationals Kieran Hardy and Wyn Jones and 18-year-ol centre Macs Page. Sam Wainwright is also included. The Wales prop was a late withdrawal from the Barbarians game because of the birth of his first child.

Among those absent are wing Steff Evans, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury, scrum-half Archie Hughes, who picked up a thumb injury against the Barbarians and lock Alex Craig, who is close to a return from a foot issue. Josh Macleod, Ken Owens, Samson Lee and Joe Roberts are others on the injury list.

Tickets for the match are available from the Cardiff Rugby ticket office. The Scarlets host Dragons RFC next Friday at Parc y Scarlets in the final warm-up match before the start of their United Rugby Championship campaign.

Scarlets v Cardiff Rugby (Arms Park, Friday, September 29; 19:00)

15 Tom Rogers; 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Ioan Nicholas (capt), 12 Eddie James, 11 Ryan Conbeer; 10 Charlie Titcombe, 9 Efan Jones; 1 Steff Thomas, 2 Lewis Morgan, 3 Harri O’Connor, 4 Ed Scragg, 5 Morgan Jones, 6 Ben Williams, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu.

Reps: Kemsley Mathias, Isaac Young, Sam Wainwright, Wyn Jones, Jac Price, Iwan Shenton, Luca Giannini, Dan Davis, Kieran Hardy, Jac Davies, Scott Williams, Macs Page, Ioan Lloyd.