Williams gets Blues wish
October 27, 2010
Martyn Williams will line out for the Blues this weekend © Getty Images
Warren Gatland has granted Martyn Williams' request to line out for the Cardiff Blues against Aironi this weekend.
The flanker is coming back from a two week suspension and wants game-time under his belt before Wales' autumn internationals. Williams joins Welsh squad members Scott Andrews and John Yapp on the plane to Italy for the Magners League clash on Friday night.
And Blues coach Dai Young was delighted to welcome the 95-cap flanker back into his squad.
"Martyn asked Warren if he could play," Young told The Western Mail. "Obviously, he was suspended and he feels that he needs a game and he is back with us. In fairness to Gats, he has really done us a favour and he has also let us have Scott Andrews and John Yapp back too.
"They will both play a half for us and, if we hadn't had that support from the Wales coach, we would have been really struggling. We have to put four props out and we are struggling with that a bit at the moment. We have to be thankful that he has sent Scott and Yappy back to us. Otherwise, all our other Welsh internationals are still with the Wales set-up."
Young is without winger Chris Czekaj for the clash after he was called up to replace Lee Byrne in Gatland's squad but the coach said he was delighted for the pacy back who has been in fine form this season. And Young will use the opportunity to test promising Wales U-20 international Dan Fish as his side look to bounce back from last week's defeat to Scarlets.
"Chris has probably been the form player in our back three so far this season," Young said. "Chris makes very few mistakes and is technically very good. He has a good kicking game and is a left-footed option which is very handy in the back three. He has been one of our star performers this season.
"With Chris not with us, it gives young Dan Fish an opportunity. He has played for Wales Under-20s the last two seasons and he has been playing quite well in the Premiership . These boys have to step up, that's why he is in our academy, and he will get his opportunity this week.
"We all know Dan's attacking game. It's there for anyone to see throughout his age-grade career, but where we know he has to improve is his defensive qualities. We have told him he has to work on that and that is really a job in progress at the moment. Nobody doubts his attacking ability and he is very exciting with the ball in his hands.
"The players know we let ourselves down last week. I don't want to take anything away from the Scarlets, but we didn't play anywhere near where we know we can. We didn't feel we fronted-up like we normally do and we were disappointed. We will have a couple of youngsters playing, but it will still be a very strong team, apart from those international being with Wales."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic