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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.”

Josh Navidi of Wales takes on Romain Ntamack of France (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)

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