Cardiff Blues star Xavier Rush has been described as one of the leading No8s in world rugby following a remarkable display at the weekend.
The former New Zealnd international was truly outstanding as the Blues beat London Wasps to reach the Amlin Challenge Cup Final on Saturday, rightly receiving plenty of plaudits in the post-match press conference.
Wasps and Wales coach Shaun Edwards was the first to hail the Kiwi’s monumental impact, hinting that the giant back row was the key difference between two evenly-matched sides.
“There’s no doubt they had the outstanding player in the game in Xaiver Rush,” said Edwards after the Blues triumphed 18-15 at Adams Park.
“I’m led to believe he had 24 carries. That’s an unbelievable amount of carries for one player to have. Unfortunately, we seemed to keep finding him with our kicking game.
“For one guy to have 24 carries is just a phenomenal effort from him. It shows why he’s one of the best No8s in the world.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Rush’s own coach, Dai Young, who freely admitted that the Ulster-bound veteran was one of the key reasons behind another impressive Blues win on the road.
“I thought he was outstanding,” added Young.
“He got us on the front foot and that was always going to be important with the conditions the way they were. The team that got on the front foot was going to control most of it.
“He certainly put his hand up every time he was needed and he always obtained that vital yardage.
“It’s very difficult to replace him. When any team loses a player of that quality, it’s always going to be difficult to replace them. He’ll certainly leave big shoes to fill.”