Cardiff Blues Autumn International preview

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As the leaves change colour and Christmas adverts arrive on our TVs, the pink daffodil hats and 2005 Wales rugby shirts are dusted off from the back of the wardrobes once again as Wales return to action in the Autumn Internationals.

Six Cardiff Blues players have been selected to represent their national sides all-in-all, with others perhaps unlucky to miss out. Of course there are both positives and negatives to that as we get to retain a number of international quality players, but miss out on the income that providing players to the Wales squad brings in.

Wales

The four players who have been selected by Warren Gatland are thoroughly deserving of their call-ups though, despite what some Wales fans would have you believe.

At hooker Kris Dacey has been selected ahead of the likes of Scott Baldwin and Ryan Elias after impressing in the summer test against Tonga, and recovering from an early season injury to appear five times for Cardiff Blues, scoring one try.

With some impressive lineout throwing to add to his already high quality carrying and work rate he is the perfect candidate to take that back-up berth to Ken Owens.

Ospreys Kris Dacey
Kris Dacey could well jump to second choice hooker

 

Behind him there is a second call-up for Seb Davies, who really made a name for himself in a Wales jersey over the summer.

Following up on those performances with some stand-out showings in the Cardiff Blues engine room he has earned the chance to win more caps early on in his career, just as Wales begin their shift from ‘Warrenball’ to a more expansive game plan that suits Seb down to the ground.

Both Sam Warburton and Ellis Jenkins unfortunately miss out due to injuries, but that affords Josh Navidi the chance to add to his three caps, and not before time that one of the most consistent players in the Welsh game is rewarded for his week-in, week-out efforts.

147 appearances for Cardiff Blues and numerous player awards have come his way, but international honours have often alluded the Dreads of Destruction. However he now has the chance to show what he can do, and hopefully his club form translates next door to the Millennium Stadium.

Josh Navidi Edinburgh 2
Josh Navidi is in with a chance of adding to his Wales caps

 

The final Cardiff Blues player to appear in the Welsh squad is Alex Cuthbert much to the disgust of the part-time rugby fan, but no surprise at all to those of us who watch The Big Horse tearing up defence each week.

Ever since he was scapegoated against England last season the ridicule has been great, but four tries in sixteen games, and some man-of-the-match performances, have seen his confidence and stock rise, as well as making him a hero to the Arms Park faithful. I’d like nothing more than to see a Cuthy try this Autumn.

Wales fixtures – Australia (11th), Georgia (18th), New Zealand (25th), South Africa (2nd Dec)

USA

Fresh from signing a new contract at the Arms Park, Blaine Scully is once again named co-captain for the USA Eagles for their Autumn games, after qualifying for the 2019 World Cup over the summer.

Along with former Cardiff Blues team-mate Cam Dolan, now playing for New York based Old Blue RFC, he will face off against Germany (18th) and Georgia (25th).

Blaine Scully USA
Blaine Scully is Co-Captain America

 

Samoa

Star centre Rey Lee-Lo is also in international action this autumn after being selected by Samoa for their matches with Scotland (11th), Romania (18th) and England (25th).

He will hope to add to his 14 caps alongside former Cardiff Blues scrum-half Pele Cowley who has just finished New Zealand Provincial Championship with Waikato.

Keep up to date with each player’s progress @CardiffRugbyWeb on Twitter.

 

 

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