Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell has been backed to succeed for Wales if he is selected to start for his country in their opening RBS 6 Nations match against England on Friday.
The 24-year-old is in line to fill the boots of team-mate and British & Irish Lion tight-head Adam Jones for the clash and fellow Ospreys prop Paul James has been full of praise for Mitchell.
“If they play Mitch (Mitchell) he’ll do a great job,” said James.
“He’s a powerful, strong guy and its going to be a great battle. He has been playing very well for the Ospreys this season.
“We thought we did well as a pack in the autumn but England have been really good as a pack, too.
“They’ve improved a lot. Dan Cole is really strong and Sheridan is big. They’ve been going well, so it’s going to be a great battle up front.”
Wales are without experienced duo Jones and Gethin Jenkins in the front-row but James has also expressed that he is more than happy to step in at either side of the scrum if required to help out Warren Gatland.
“If they want me at loose-head or tight-head, I don’t mind because – I just want to play for my country,” added James, who has won 17 Test caps.
“It is difficult if you haven’t played there before. It’s like a right-hander trying to learn how to write left-handed.
“But if you are playing there you start to pick it up.”