The players who represented Wales at the Rugby World Cup arrived back from Japan on Monday, after nearly five months in camp and two months away in the Far East.
Six Cardiff Blues players were amongst the travelling party, with Dillon Lewis, Tomos Williams, Josh Adams and Hallam Amos available throughout the tournament, Josh Navidi picking up an injury against France and Owen Lane being called up ahead of the semi-final.
Of course each player is now entitled to their rest, but the question on the lips of many supporters is ‘when will they be back?’
In his press conference last week John Mulvihill gave an idea as to when we might expect to see the six in Cardiff Blues jerseys, starting with Navidi who’s hamstring tear will keep him out for around six weeks.
Beyond that he won’t be rushed back into action, therefore it’s a fair bet to suggest that the back rower won’t be taking the field until away game against the Ospreys on 21st December at the earliest.
With Owen Lane having only flown out to Japan for the final two weeks of the tournament, and only taken the field against New Zealand in the third-place play-off, he is expected back sooner, with the European Challenge Cup home game against Leicester on 23rd November pencilled in.
We could also see Hallam Amos on that date as, although he spent the entire World Cup in Japan and trained with the squad for the full training camp, he only featured on the field against Uruguay and New Zealand.
Although he is still entitled to the six-week break that is written into the contract between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions, Mulvihill mentioned last week that the break could be split up throughout the season, allowing him a few weeks off now before another break later in the campaign.
However, Dillon Lewis, Tomos Williams and Josh Adams, who have all featured in every World Cup game, will likely be afforded the full six weeks off now, rendering them unavailable until mid-December.
They could return for the Challenge Cup game away to Pau on 13th December, but once again the fair bet is that they will be held back to face Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium the following week.
Elsewhere in the Cardiff Blues squad there was an injury to report from Saturday’s defeat against Munster, as Kris Dacey departed the action at half-time with a broken bone in his foot.
The hooker will get the injury assessed this week but is expected to miss the next few weeks, as is Dmitri Arhip as he continues to recover from the shoulder injury sustained against Glasgow.