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Botham raring to go as he looks to build momentum against Edinburgh

First Team News | 7th January 2022

James Botham is raring to go against Edinburgh on Saturday, as he looks to build momentum both personally and as a squad.

Having missed the early parts of the season following a shoulder operation and a minor heel injury, the nine-times capped back row impressed upon his return in last month’s Champions Cup double header against Toulouse and Harlequins.

However, due to recent Covid disruptions, Cardiff haven’t featured since the memorable afternoon at Twickenham Stoop.

They finally return to action at the Scottish capital on Saturday, with Botham lining up in the number eight jersey.

After a frustrating few months, the academy product is hungry to put a marker down and build on his performances against the European and English champions.

“After having the shoulder operation, and being out for a while, it would be really good to get back out there with the boys, especially if we have a fully blown team. But we’ll see what happens,” said Botham.

“Last time out we brought in a few boys who wouldn’t usually be playing but they all performed.

“But we’ve been training for three or four weeks solid now without a game, so it will be nice to get everyone back out there to start playing some rugby.

“I’ve only had two games this season, so the more the merrier. Like with anything, the longer you play then the more you get into sync and the better it goes.

“It was great to be back in Europe and the fact we could go out and enjoy playing made a hell of a difference.

“I enjoyed it and couldn’t have asked for two better games to come back for. We obviously lost in the end but in both games we stayed in there for a lot longer than people thought.

“For me now, it’s just about getting game time and showing you can perform consistently.

“That’s what the coaches are looking for so hopefully the game is on this weekend without a hiccup.

“The pride from the European games all came from the way the boys performed and nothing from my individual game.

“The pride was how the boys stuck in there for so long, and the half time results showed that.

“It was only in the last 15-20 minutes that Toulouse and Harlequins started to break away.

“We enjoyed it and you could see how boys who hadn’t been in the system before stepped up and worked together.

“But now it’s about getting out there and playing, and that’s what frustrated me with games being off.

“You especially look at the derbies, they’re almost like Wales trials against the other boys.

“Them being off, I was gutted about that, because I want game-time to show what I can do. 

“If I get the opportunity again, I want to take it like with everything. The thing is, you want to keep doing what you’re doing, keep your head down and hopefully you’ll be rewarded.”