TOP BAR - Fixtures

‘Ones to watch’ in Welsh LV= Cup double header

Friday night’s LV= Cup double header is an opportunity to get a glimpse of the best up-and-coming talents in Welsh rugby.

Cardiff Blues host the Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons visit the Ospreys as all four clubs tussle for early progress in the competition.

And with the support of all four clubs, Pro Rugby Wales has produced a run-down of 20 of the country’s most exciting youngsters – ten of which will be on show from the start on Friday.

Cardiff are captained in this season’s LV= Cup by former Wales Under-20 skipper Ellis Jenkins, who earned an LV= Cup Breakthrough Player of the Year nomination in last week’s victory over Newcastle Falcons.

Meanwhile in the back line, Garyn Smith is at inside centre – a hard-hitting and creative presence in midfield who has already linked up with the Wales Sevens squad in his fledgling career.

The visitors to Cardiff boast as many as four players from the list in their starting line-up, with loose-head prop Wyn Jones leading the way in the front row and Sion Bennett on the flanks alongside skipper Rob McCusker.

Former Wales Under-20 captain Steffan Hughes is at outside centre and Steffan Evans – fresh from a try-scoring outing against Northampton Saints – will wear No.15.

In the evening’s other contest, teenage flyer Ashton Hewitt is on the right wing for Newport Gwent Dragons while hooker Elliot Dee – one of the more experienced on the list with 22 senior appearances – takes his place in the front row.

James Benjamin is also one to keep an eye on – the back rower is entering his second season as a senior player after turning out for Wales at the 2013 Junior World Championship.

And they will go up against Ospreys winger Dafydd Howells, capped by Wales last year at the tender age of 18 and capable of causing any defence one or two headaches.

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

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