Lewis-Hughes and Botham back for Boxing Day

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Cardiff Blues will be able to welcome flankers Shane Lewis-Hughes and James Botham back for the Boxing Day derby against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

The Academy graduates have not started a club game together since the win over Connacht in round two of the Guinness Pro14, with both receiving call-ups to the Wales squad and earning their first international caps during the autumn window.

Lewis-Hughes did make a return to the Cardiff Blues squad in the European Challenge Cup win over Newcastle Falcons, but was set to miss last weekend’s game against Stade Francais Paris due to isolating. However, he will be back for the Boxing Day clash.

Botham hasn’t featured since the internationals due to a slight knock, with John Mulvihill opting to rest him ahead of the derbies, but he should be back to partner Lewis-Hughes at Rodney Parade.

Mulvihill himself won’t be in Newport though after being identified as a close contact of one of two more Cardiff Blues players who have tested positive for coronavirus over the last week and will not be involved on Boxing Day.

There is better news on the horizon, with both Josh Navidi and Willis Halaholo set for involvement against either Ospreys or Scarlets in the new years. Navidi hasn’t played at all this season after suffering a head injury during a pre-season training match, while Halaholo underwent surgery after the win over Benetton

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