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Halaholo has what it takes to star for Wales - Dai Young

First Team News | 10th February 2021

Dai Young is confident Cardiff Blues star Willis Halaholo can hot step his way to become a centre of attention in the international game.

The Arms Park favourite was one of three Cardiff Blues players to be called into Wales’ Guinness Six Nations squad, taking the club’s Championship representation to 11.

He is joined by teammates James Botham and Lloyd Williams, who impressed through the Autumn Nations Cup following similar call-ups.

It will be a debut campaign for Halaholo, who had been called up in 2019 only to be struck down by a knee injury. He successfully returned from ACL surgery at the beginning of the current season and has returned to his electric form in recent weeks.

Young said: “Wherever I have been coaching, it’s always been a big part of your job to produce players for the national set-up. Obviously it tests us as a squad but it’s something we welcome, they go with our best wishes and hopefully they have an opportunity to put their hands up.

“Everybody knows Willis has got a bit of magic in his feet. He can get you go-forward with footwork. Defensively, he’s very sound and he’s certainly got a bit of X-Factor. He’s a player that can create for you.

“It’s much easier to mark an attacker if you know what they are going to do. When you are marking Willis, you know he’s got a bag of tricks. You don’t quite know what he’s going to bring.

“And he’s not a small guy as well, so he’s got that physicality in his game. If he can make some space, he’s very difficult to stop. He’s got good passing skills.

“Defensively, I thought he was excellent against the Scarlets the other day.

“He’s an international ready and waiting and I’m sure he will do a great job if he gets the opportunity.

“In the limited time I have been here, he does excite you.Willis is not somebody who talks hell a lot but he certainly enjoys being at the Cardiff Blues and very much a part of the set-up here.

“He is experienced and will fit in seamlessly.”

With both Tomos Williams and Lloyd Williams now in the Wales squad, Cardiff’s scrum-half contingent has taken a hit.

But with Lewis Jones, Jamie Hill and Ellis Bevan within the ranks, Young remains confident and believes it is an opportunity to grasp.

He added: “We have some good nines left here at the Blues. 

“Obviously when you lose two quality players it is going to hurt you a little bit but it’s an opportunity for the nines here to put their hands up, get some needed game time.

“But we are pleased to see them recognised and get an opportunity in the Welsh set-up.”