Ospreys teenager Keelan Giles could make his debut for Wales this weekend and hooker Matthew Rees believes it is worth remembering Rhun Williams’ name, after the flyer’s own fast start in a Cardiff Blues shirt.
Giles, 18, had played just three Pro12 games for Ospreys before being called up for the Autumn Internationals – and he could make his debut against Japan on Saturday after being named on the bench.
Fellow Wales Under-20s winger Williams has real hope of following him into the senior set-up before long after marking his own Blues debut with a try in the victory over Benetton Treviso earlier this month.
The 19-year-old was also a bright spark in the Blues’ Anglo-Welsh Cup opener against Exeter Chiefs, his try-double instrumental in rescuing a bonus point in a 62-25 defeat.
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And former Lion and Wales international Rees has seen enough to know that Williams is the real deal.
“He featured out in Treviso, where he was excellent, and played well for us in training. He is a proper footballer and I think he is going to be a big hit – I think he will play again this week and I’m sure he will go from strength to strength,” he said.
“It’s great to see players like him come through the ranks and there’s no pressure on him at the moment but eventually I’m pretty sure he will be part of Wales squads.
It was a tough ask to go down to Exeter and play them but it was a great experience for the younger boys coming through and it’s another step up for them.”
The Blues fielded a squad with an average age of 20 at Sandy Park, but have called upon some of their senior stars in what is sure to be a fiercely-contested derby with Ospreys at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night.
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Alongside Rees, first-team regulars Dan Fish, Cory Allen, Matthew Rees, Jarrad Hoeata and Macauley Cook all get the nod and the 35-year-old believes a victory could well set up the rest of the season.
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“It’s great to have an opportunity to play in the Anglo-Welsh Cup before we go back into the league in a week’s time – it’s key for us to have a home game too,” added skipper Rees.
“We’ve lost a few games we thought we should have won this year, especially in the Welsh derbies, and to get a win under our belts ahead of a big month would be huge.
“It was a bit of a strange, up and down season in Danny (Wilson’s) first year at the club – we had a huge squad but we’ve probably got more quality this year. Our target is to make the top six in the Pro12 and I think we in a really good place.”
For full details of the Anglo-Welsh Cup and tickets for the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March see www.new-heroes.com