Botham and Adams in contention for Stade

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Cardiff Blues could welcome back Wales internationals James Botham and Josh Adams into the squad to face Stade Francais in the European Challenge Cup on Sunday.

Both players returned from the autumn internationals with minor knocks and were given last week off to recover, before coming back in for training this week ahead of the game at Rodney Parade. It remains to be seen if either player will be called upon, with the festive derbies set to get underway against Dragons the following week.

The two members of the originally named starting XV that withdrew ahead of the win against Newcastle Falcons on Friday, Owen Lane and Aled Summerhill, are both also in contention to play against Stade this weekend.

Lane missed out with an ankle problem and didn’t end up travelling to the north-east, while Summerhill came down with a non-covid illness and was left at the team hotel, but both are set to recover sufficiently to take the field.

News on Olly Robinson’s shoulder injury remains minimal, with the flanker initially thought to be set to return against Glasgow Warriors at the end of the last fixture block after picking up the knock in the win over Benetton. However there was no sign of him on that occasion, or at Newcastle.

Elsewhere, John Mulvihill is hoping to welcome back Josh Navidi and Willis Halaholo at some point over the festive period. Navidi has been out of action since pre-season when he suffered a concussion in training, while Halaholo had to undergo a further operation on the knee in which he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

Finally, Ellis Jenkins’ return to action has been pushed back after it was revealed that he was the player who tested positive for coronavirus last week when his West End singing partner Sophie Evans confirmed that she too had the virus on Twitter. He, and a member of Cardiff Blues staff identified as a close contact, are currently isolating.

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