Cardiff Blues have made eight changes for their vital Guinness PRO14 clash with Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (7.35pm local).
Following the heartbreak of an injury-time defeat to Toyota Cheetahs, head coach Danny Wilson has reshuffled his side as they look to move a step closer to European qualification.
Four of the changes come in the pack with Scott Andrews given the nod in the front-row and Josh Turnbull coming into the second-row. Nick Williams starts at number eight and Ellis Jenkins captains the side from the openside flank.
In the backs, Gareth Anscombe switches to full-back with Jarrod Evans partnering Tomos Williams at half-back, while Rey Lee-Lo returns to the centre.
With the race for fourth place hotting up Wilson is acutely aware of the importance of winning at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium but he has also warned his side that they cannot afford to underestimate the Kings.
He said: “We were all bitterly disappointed with the defeat to the Cheetahs, especially the manner of it, conceding a penalty try at the end following such a spirited comeback.
“But considering everything the boys went through with a 55-hour journey due to the flight cancellations and just one short training session before we left Wales, their attitude was phenomenal.
“Now we simply have to beat the Kings to stay ahead of the Ospreys if we want to qualify for the Champions Cup next season.
“That is something we are all hugely determined to achieve and the boys have prepared well this week. With a semi-final at the Arms Park next week it is also crucial that we carry on a bit of confidence and momentum.
“It is great to have so much to play for at this stage of the season but we certainly won’t be underestimating the Kings.
“They are a very dangerous team with some elusive runners in the back-three and some very big ball carriers. We will have to be at our best to get the job done.”
Following the encounter on Saturday, the Blues depart South Africa on Sunday, arriving in the UK on Monday, and will prepare for the crucial Challenge Cup semi-final against Pau at Cardiff Arms Park.
Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins (Capt), Nick Williams.
Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Brad Thyer, Anton Peikrishvili, Damian Welch, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan
14 Apr 2018
13 Apr 2018
13 Apr 2018
11 Apr 2018