Blues face injury crisis at hooker

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Sep 2011

Cardiff Blues may be forced to raid the Principality Premiership to cover an injury crisis that has left them with just one fit hooker for their RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Glasgow – Rhys Williams.

 

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Rhys Thomas will go under the knife for a knee problem that will keep him out for up to six weeks with Gareth Williams and Kristian Dacey already on the treatment table with neck and shoulder injuries respectively.

To make matters worse in the front row they are missing loosehead Gethin Jenkins and tighthead Tau Filise who are on World Cup duty while the experienced John Yapp is still on the comeback trail.

But coach Justin Burnell is confident that stand-in prop’s Scott Andrews and Sam Hobbs will not just fill the void but become standout names in their own right.

Burnell said:  “Scott is involved with Wales and I am pretty sure Sam will become an international in the next 12 to 18 months.

“We put on Ryan and Nathan in the second half against Munster, who brought on John Hayes – and he won more than 100 caps for Ireland.

“But those two boys, who have been given opportunities in the last ten weeks after coming through our academy system, more than held their own and caused Munster problems.”

The Blues’ injury problems are not just confined to the front row with No.8 Andries Pretorious out for three weeks with a hamstring injury and Martyn Williams sidelined for at least month and a half with a broken arm sustained against Ulster.

However in their backline Ceri Sweeney, Gareth Davies and Chris Czekaj should all bit fit for the showdown with the Warriors.