Scrum-half Lloyd Williams, who has scored two tries so far in this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup, is poised to break Cardiff Rugby’s appearance record as they host Benetton Rugby in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Saturday.
The 33-year-old crossed against CA Brive and Newcastle Falcons in the EPCR Challenge Cup pool stage, helping Cardiff set up a Round of 16 tie at home to Sale Sharks and taking his EPCR haul to 19 tries in 63 games.
Williams, a Challenge Cup winner with Cardiff in 2018, will make his 256th appearance at Cardiff Arms Park.
Another positive for the Welsh region is that centre Max Llewellyn is back in the starting team after spending two months out with an ankle injury.
Benetton, who have booked a home EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 encounter with Connacht Rugby, are without 12 Italy internationals.
They do, however, have South African full-back Rhyno Smith at their disposal, whose haul of three tries in the EPCR Challenge Cup pool stage was bettered by only four players.
Throwback to Round 1️⃣!
Who doesn’t want to rewatch this @SFParisRugby beauty by Nadir Megdoud 🌸#ChallengeCupRugby #ThrowbackThursday pic.twitter.com/oeIeTcbT7b
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) February 16, 2023
Elsewhere in the URC, Connacht visit Emirates Lions, another EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 qualifier – the Johannesburg-based side will entertain Racing 92 in just over a month.
Prop Denis Buckley, hooker Denis Buckley and flanker Cian Prendergast are back for Connacht while lock Ruben Schoeman, centre Manuel Rass and flankers Jaco Kriel and Ruan Venter come in for Emirates Lions.
Two further Welsh regions are involved in URC games on Saturday as Scarlets host Edinburgh Rugby and Dragons RFC travel to Leinster Rugby.
For the first time, No.8 Sione Kalamafoni captains Scarlets, who host CA Brive in the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16, while Dragons, who head to Glasgow Warriors, welcome back the influential Ross Moriarty at No.8
Sale are the other EPCR Challenge Cup team in domestic action on Saturday as they travel to Northampton Saints, bolstered by the returning England quartet of prop Bevan Rodd, lock Jonny Hill, flanker Tom Curry and centre Manu Tuilagi, while hooker Ewan Ashman is back from Scotland duty.
In the TOP 14, Racing host Brive in an all-EPCR Challenge Cup encounter, while Stade Français Paris visit Aviron Bayonnais, Lyon host Montpellier Hérault Rugby and RC Toulon entertain Stade Toulousain. On Sunday, ASM Clermont Auvergne welcome Union Bordeaux-Bègles.