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Davies fully focused on Leicester challenge despite international recall

Blues News | 21st November 2019

Seb Davies is fully focused on Saturday’s blockbuster Challenge Cup clash against Leicester Tigers, despite being called up to the Wales squad for next week’s match against Barbarians.

The Cardiff Blues academy product was recalled into the national set-up after missing out on a place in the Rugby World Cup squad in Japan, alongside eight of his regional team-mates, as Wayne Pivac begins his reign as Wales head coach.

Davies burst onto the scene for his home region two years ago, and started at San Mamés as Wales’ Capital Region clinched the Challenge Cup in dramatic fashion against Gloucester in Bilbao.

The seven-times capped forward is expecting a physical battle against the Gallagher Premiership giants and says the Cardiff Blues squad are itching to repeat their success in the competition.

“I’m obviously happy about it, but there’s more important things to worry about this week,” said Davies.

“I won’t be joining up with Wales until next week, so all I’m focused on at the moment is the game against Leicester this week with the Blues.

“This competition is massive for us. Winning it a couple of years ago was special and we want to do the same again this year.

“Leicester are such a good team, and a little bit old school, but they’re the ones to beat in our pool at the moment. 

“It’ll be important to start well and play as well as we can, and we should be fine.

“Every game in this competition is important and we’ll have to front up.

“Everyone is looking forward to getting out there and putting in a good performance.

“Their international boys have done well during the World Cup, and they’re probably looking forward to getting back into their club systems.

“I think it will be quite physical out there, and they’re the type of team who will try to bully you up front.

“We need to stand up to that, and bring that physicality back at them, but we’ve also got a lot of dangerous runners in our backline so hopefully we can give them a platform to get over the whitewash.

“I watched the 2009 semi final on tv as a kid, and I think I would back my chances of kicking one of those penalties over myself as well!”

Davies was a try scorer last week as he featured at number eight against Calvisano - a position he first played in the 2018 Test match against Tonga.

The former Ysgol Glantaf pupil insists he is comfortable at both lock and back row and says he is motivated to continue with his good run of form in regional colours.

“There is an option for me to slip back-and-forth between second row and number eight and that’s been the main message from speaking to the coaches.

“I played at number eight last week, which was nice to get it under my belt. I haven’t played there too much and it’s nice to have options to play in different positions which means ahead of someone who plays in one position, so I’m looking at it as a positive.

“I don’t think there’s too much difference, except when you’re at the back of the scrum you might get the ball a bit more, but around the pitch it’ll be similar.

“I was disappointed not to be in the World Cup squad but with the change of coaches, hopefully I can get in there a bit more.

“I’m just trying to play well for the Blues at the moment, and I haven’t thought much about Wales selection.

“I think I played quite well last week but it’s obviously been a mixed start for us where we won the first game, then lost a few, and started winning again.

“I’ve always had the same motivation, but with new coaches coming in for Wales, they might bring different structures so we’ll have to see how that works out and I’m just looking forward to the weekend.”

Six of Cardiff Blues' nine representatives in the Wales squad are available for selection for Saturday's blockbuster Challenge Cup encounter against Leicester Tigers at the Arms Park. Make sure you head down for an unmissable evening of European rugby at the Welsh capital, as the sides go head-to-head for the first time in Europe since the infamous 2009 Heineken Cup semi final shoot-out. Tickets available NOW!