Head coach John Mulvihill has made wholesale changes as Cardiff Blues sign off from the 2019-20 season with a Welsh derby against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade.
With the Arms Park being utilised as part of the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff, they host the Guinness PRO14 clash 16 miles east in Newport on Sunday (5pm).
Following last weekend’s defeat to the Scarlets, Mulvihill has made a total of 13 changes to the starting XV, as he continues to give the squad game-time as they build towards 2020-21.
Only Josh Turnbull and Josh Adams remain in the starting line-up while Josh Navidi returns and captains the team from number eight.
Mulvihill said: “We were disappointed with last week and didn’t give ourselves a chance to get a foot-hold in the game. It didn’t feel like a derby, we were flat and we need to bring that intensity this week.
“It’s an opportunity to play a lot more of the squad and across these two derbies we will see 30-odd players get game time. It’s a chance for a lot of young boys to put their hands up for selection in October.
“It’s taken some time to develop that strength and depth, and despite the amount of changes it is still a strong team with a good blend of youth and experience.
“They will be led by Navs, who could have played last week but we didn’t want to rush him. He is a good leader who leads by his actions on the pitch and the boys will get behind him. He’s an experienced campaigner who will bring that added spark.
“The Ospreys will be another big test, they do the basics well, they work hard for each other, they are hard to break down and always stay in the contest.
“We need to match their physicality and we’ve selected a direct side to do that.
“This week is all about performance. If we get our performance right and implement the game-plan we will give ourselves the best possible chance of also securing the win.”
Matthew Morgan, who made an impact from the bench last week, starts at full-back, with in form Josh Adams and Jason Harries.
Max Llewellyn and Garyn Smith form a new-look midfield partnership, while Jason Tovey and Lloyd Williams bring experience at half-back.
Up front, Dmitri Arhip packs down against his former club, alongside Liam Belcher and Corey Domachowski. Josh Turnbull is partnered by Seb Davies, and Shane Lewis-Hughes and James Botham complete a dynamic back row.
New signing Sam Moore could make his debut from the bench, while Ioan Davies is also in line for just his second PRO14 appearance.
Cardiff Blues: M Morgan, J Harries, G Smith, M Llewellyn, J Adams; J Tovey, L Williams; C Domachowski, L Belcher, D Arhip, S Davies, J Turnbull, S Lewis-Hughes, J Botham, J Navidi (capt).
Replacements: E Lewis, B Thyer, S Andrews, J Ratti, S Moore, L Jones, B Thomas, I Davies