Josh Navidi: Six Nations return ‘beyond expectations’
Josh Navidi admits that playing a part in Wales’ Six Nations campaign was beyond his expectations.
But after a year away from the international game, Navidi has underlined his continued importance to Wales head coach Wayne Pivac with an outstanding display in an agonizing 13-9 defeat against Guinness Six Nations title favorites France.
The Cardiff flanker hit his straps immediately – as Pivac predicted he would – following just one comeback appearance for his club following five months out due to a shoulder injury.
“It was beyond my expectations, really. I didn’t realize I was going to get called into the squad,” Navidi said.
“I was looking for Cardiff first, and I knew being out for that length of time that I needed to just put in the work, make sure my shoulder was right and strong.
“I got a hit-out against Ulster, and then I received a surprise phone call the next day. You grab it with both hands.
“I didn’t realize I was going to play (against France). I thought I was just going to come in to train. It was nice to get back out there.
“International rugby is a lot quicker, but I felt my lungs and legs were there.
“Still maybe, to me personally, I am probably five per cent off, but I always say that my third game is when I come into my stride.
“I am not too sure what team selection will be [against Italy on Saturday]but fingers crossed I will get the nod again.
“I haven’t missed that much rugby for Cardiff – we’ve still got 12 games left – but obviously missing the autumn Tests and start of the Six Nations is always disappointing.
“There is a still a lot of rugby to be played, the shoulder is feeling strong. I’ve had the test and bangs on it now, and it is feeling good.”