Cardiff Blues can confirm James Botham has withdrawn from this evening’s Guinness PRO14 encounter with Benetton Rugby after being called into the Wales national squad.
The abrasive openside flanker has been in fine form this season, having graduated through the Cardiff Blues pathway and academy system.
Botham has made four appearances so far this season, missing last weeks defeat to Edinburgh with a minor niggle, and has led the way in several PRO14 defensive stats.
The 22-year-old’s inclusion in Wayne Pivac’s squad takes Cardiff Blues’ current Wales continent to 11, with a further five players who have come through the region’s pathway or academy.
With 45 of Cardiff Blues’ senior squad Welsh qualified, and 19 of those internationals, Wales’ Capital Region continues to provide a conveyor belt of talent.
In the last six seasons, alone 22 players have graduated from the academy to senior regional honours and eight to full international honours.