Porter makes his DHL Stormers debut

Lopeti Timani returns to Cardiff for their opening game of the BKT United Rugby Championship doubles in South Africa.

Tonga international Timani, who missed last month’s home game against Edinburgh, will join Rory Thornton as the Nerazzurri kick off their tour in Durban on Sunday (4.10pm knockout of Cell C Sharks). Sit side by side in the second row.

Captain Josh Turnbull will wear the number 6 jersey, with Thomas Young and James Botham sitting in the back row, while Reece Carey, Liam Belcher and Dmitry Alkhip sit in the front row.

Behind Jarrod Evans and Lloyd Williams continue to partner in the central defender position. Rae Lee-Rowe returned to midfield for the first time since the away win over Scarlett, partnering Max Llewellyn in the middle.

Finally, after making his URC debut in South Africa last season, Theo Cabango has once again secured a wide position. Jason Harris occupies the opposite touchline, while Ben Thomas is 15th.

Cardiff County Rugby Director Dai Young said: “We are looking forward to testing ourselves against a good Sharks team on Sunday.

“We were disappointed with the last game of last season, so we’re motivated enough to get things done, we’ve shown we’re going in the right direction and we want to build on that.

“It’s important now that we keep that momentum and confidence and show what we’ve learned and improved from last season.

“We know what to expect from the Sharks, they’re very strong at home, but we’re in a good place. We need to give our best performance and if we do, then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t make a statement.”

Cardiff formed a 6-2 line-up from the bench, with youngsters Ellis Bevan and Mason Grady providing cover at the back.

Seb Davis has been on the sidelines since mid-October, while the likes of Christian Dassey, Corey Domakhowski and James Ratty have more firepower.

Cardiff will also take on the Vodacom Bulls in their time in the Rainbow Nation before turning their attention to Europe and the festive derby.

Cardiff: Ben Thomas; Jason Harris, Rae Lee-Rowe, Max Llewellyn, Theo Kabongo; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carrey , Liam Belcher, Dmitry Arkhip, Lopeti Timani, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull (Captain), Thomas Young, James Botham

replace: Christian D’Arcy, Corey Domahowski, Will Davis-King, Seb Davis, Gwilym Bradley, James Latty, Ellis Bevin, Mason Grady

Not optional: Dillon Lewis, Josh Navedi, Taulupe Faletto, Tomos Williams, Rhys Priestland, Owen Lane, Willis Haraholo, Josh Adams, Liam Williams, Matthew Morgan, Jacob Beetham.


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