Josh Navidi: Wales flanker bounces back to brink of Grand Slam

Wales flanker Josh Navidi has played 27 internationals since his debut in 2013
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 20 March Kick-off: 20: 00 GMT
Coverage: Dwell on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, 5 Dwell, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport web content and app, S4C
Highlights: Scrum V, Sunday, BBC Two Wales, 21 March, from 19: 00 GMT and later on query

Wales’ renaissance beneath Wayne Pivac in 2021 has shocked many. It has also coincided with Josh Navidi’s return to health.

Perhaps it is no accident that now the Cardiff Blues support-row enforcer is match and firing after a four-month destroy thanks to concussion, a rejuvenated Wales are on the level of a Enormous Slam.

The 30-300 and sixty five days-feeble finest played one worldwide in 2020, when Wales misplaced seven out of 10 matches.

A hamstring wound restricted him to that solitary look in opposition to England within the Six Countries 12 months ago earlier than a head knock suffered in a Blues coaching session final August dominated him out of the autumn campaign.

These four months on the sidelines also proved a major duration in Navidi picking to again highlight concussion disorders, when he became once among leading rugby figures final month calling for reform to provide protection to gamers’ wellbeing.

A neighborhood known as Innovative Rugby need adjustments to kind out the grief of great head and brain wound and screech more wishes to be carried out to inform americans concerning the likelihood of brain wound from repeated head knocks.

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Navidi became once the most high-profile new participant to label an open letter to World Rugby.

“It be all about participant welfare and the continuing research they’re having a glance to develop,” he acknowledged.

“It be simply to set my title to it and toughen them. The more research we are in a position to carry out the simpler to support the long inch generations of the game, which entails supporters and gamers. It be something that will possible be walk for the game.”

Navidi added: “I’ve had concussion within the previous. whereas you occur to are ready to be out on the park.

“You struggle thru a protracted-winded project of ticking boxes. It be nice to be support on the pitch.

“I had rather little bit of a headache, but that became once coming from my neck which became once a tight muscle.

“I could possibly well even possess possibly been support sooner, but these items add up and likewise you develop now not know what’s going on.

“It be a finding out curve and no one knows precisely what the moral design is. All americans’s concussion is different.

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“I became once out for a whereas, but it became once nice to be support and interested by this crew.”

For a few years, Navidi became once skipped over by Wales without reference to his rampant regional plan. Now he has proved he’s a test match animal by returning to the worldwide stage after finest one replacement look for his plot.

After a formidable Wales replacement screech in opposition to Ireland – earlier than lacking the Scotland sport with a neck wound – Navidi excelled in opposition to England and picked up the man-of-the-match award in opposition to Italy.

France’s sport in opposition to Scotland – within the open scheduled for 28 February – became once postponed after a Covid outbreak within the French camp

He has also formed a effectively-balanced and formidable support-row trio alongside in-plan British and Irish Lions duo Taulupe Faletau and Justin Tipuric.

“I journey it,” acknowledged Navidi.

“Fiddling with Toby and Justin is generous and we feed off one one more. The workload is shared for the duration of the support-row they now and again’re world-class gamers. At any time after I accumulate to play with them, I contain it.”

France stand within the formulation of Wales polishing off a 2d Enormous Slam in three tournaments.

“They’re stout, true males with a stout and physical pack and a honest driving line-out,” acknowledged Navidi.

“That’s been proven by this championship and the formulation they’ve been performing and it be provocative to transfer available within the market on Saturday with all of it to play for.”

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