Selection decisions for Hammett

Date published: January 12 2015

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett admits he has a balancing act to perform in terms of selection for their Challenge Cup clash with Rovigo.

Friday’s European fixture comes on the back of a bruising few rounds of Guinness PRO12 action, with several players racking up plenty of minutes.

However, Hammett still demands a strong performance from his Blues side at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park as they look to go atop Pool 1, above London Irish.

“Rovigo is one of those games when we go in with a few dents and bruises. I’ve got to manage that,” the boss told Cardiff Blues‘ website.

“It’s big European game and we are a bit short on middle rows at the moment so that will be challenging for us.

“There are other guys that have had big minutes, the likes of Josh Navidi, who need to be looked after.

“The two things we know Rovigo will bring is they will run hard and they have a good driving line-out. We have got to be on top of our game in that perspective and there is no complacency, we need to perform.”

Wales captain Sam Warburton isn’t expected to feature in the game following a cut eye sustained in contact with Leinster centre Ben Teo, with Hammett explaining the situation.

“Sam got a cut to the eye but I don’t think it’s severe,” he added. “It’s one of those injuries when he has had stitches below the eye as opposed to above. Because it is so close it is tricky.

“Most rugby players get a cut on the head and are straight back on once it is stitched up. It made it a wee more difficult with this one, but from a time frame it’s just a matter of how quickly he heals.

“I was looking at giving him Rovigo off anyway so hopefully that will give him time to recover.”