A mini scrum-half crisis hits

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Cardiff Blues could be forced into the transfer market for a short-term scrum-half option this week as injuries rule out three of the four scrum-half options afforded to Danny Wilson.

Friday night’s game against Benetton saw four players in the role of scrum-half at various points of the game, with Lloyd Williams, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans and Ellis Jenkins taking on the mantle during the 31-25 victory.

That was due to a hip injury picked up by Lloyd that forced him off at half-time, before replacement Tomos failed a head injury assessment after taking a blow in the build up to Nick Williams bonus-point try.

Tomos Williams Glasgow
Tomos Williams failed a HIA on Friday

With Dane Blacker having been injured since January, it leaves Lewis Jones as the only fit scrum-half in the Cardiff Blues squad and in line for a first start in the Guinness Pro14 since Judgement Day 2016.

It would be a risk for Wilson to utilise Jenkins as a scrum-half option once again, in spite of his excellent skillset, leaving him potentially looking elsewhere for a nine, should Tomos Williams not complete the return to play protocols.

With that in mind he could opt to call-up a player from one of the three Cardiff Blues development pathway teams playing in the Premiership.

Rhodri Cole has made 17 appearances for Cardiff RFC this season, Wales U18 cap Joel Raikes has been in-form with Pontypridd, while Justin James has scored four tries in 17 games for Merthyr this season and earned a call-up to the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select XV.

Justin James Merthyr RFC
Justin James is league leaders Merthyr’s scrum-half

Alternatively, Wilson could turn to two men who have come in to cover scrum-half in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season. Neath’s Scott Gibson was on the bench as Cardiff Blues travelled to Leicester, before Reiss Cullen came in from Bristol to sit amongst the replacements against London Irish.

Whatever the outcome, it will no doubt be a concern for Danny Wilson to be missing his first-choice scrum-halves with less than two weeks until the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh.

He will also be sweating on the fitness of Willis Halaholo (head) and Olly Robinson (leg), who both picked up knocks in the win over Benetton, while Alex Cuthbert (knee) and Rhun Williams (shoulder) are still sidelined.

Alex Cuthbert Treviso
Alex Cuthbert might not get the chance to repeat his European quarter-final heroics


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