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Bubba On The Bubble

By Craig Muncey
March 16 2016

My thoughts on Scott Andrews and his continued absence from Cardiff Blues this season and sparse appearances for Cardiff RFC.   Welcome your thoughts.

Bubba On The Bubble

As we know this summer, Cardiff Blues Head Coach Danny Wilson is looking to make changes to the squad, reducing numbers down from the current number, looking for more quality than quantity. The recruitment is well underway and also had a few released so far and the season has not even ended.

Many players contracts are ending this summer, and many are trying to save their Cardiff Blues careers, looking to make a positive impression with the games that are left, looking to get an opportunity to get on the pitch, to get a break, to go on a run of games in form. One such player who falls into this bracket, who seems to be almost forgotten is Welsh international Scott Andrews. 

"Bubba" as he is nicknamed, is a Welsh international with 11 caps to his name, his last cap being as recent as last year, he has represented his country at every age group as a prop, however this season the plan was put in place to convert Andrews to a hooker, a move which made sense to many, Andrews seemed to be struggling at times in the scrum as a prop against the top players in the prop position, so with his ability to ball carry, make tackles, hit rucks etc, then a move across to hooker seemed that if could get his line out throwing right, and a few technical tweaks to his game then a good move for him and for Cardiff Blues.

Cardiff have been down this conversion from prop to hooker previously with Andrew Lewis and Peter Rogers long after they had become established props and indeed same as with Andrews, been capped by Wales as a prop a number of times.

With Head Coach Danny Wilson, who is renowned for his work with the forwards and at set piece, and Scott Andrews being a talented rugby player, which he showed us Cardiff Blues fans when he played at lock against Rovigo last season, when he played very well, the whole move made sense, Cardiff Blues tight five have struggled, and having a six foot two, nearly nineteen stone hooker, lodged in between two props I had high hopes.

However, Andrews has only appeared once on the bench in the Pro 12 League and twice in Challenge Cup games this season. He has appeared at hooker for Cardiff Blues Premiership Select Side, and watching him play, he has done well, even setting up a try with a lovely end over end kick which got the side in position to score a try, through his vision and awareness, not bad from a front rower.

Bearing all this into account I wonder why we have not seen more of him playing? He has hardly appeared even for Cardiff RFC in the Welsh Premiership, surely a player trying to learn a new position needs the opportunity to see if it will work? Andrews has not had that to date and I am unaware of any long standing injury issues which may explain his ongoing absence.

Currently Cardiff Blues have in the hooking position on their books, Kristian Dacey, Matthew Rees, Ethan Lewis and Liam Belcher in addition to Andrews. There is talk of Kirby Myhill joining Cardiff Blues next season, if this is the case then you can only come to the conclusion that Scott Andrews is off to pastures new next season even with the reports that Matthew Rees is moving into coaching for Cardiff RFC next season.

This to me seems a shame, as he has limited opportunities, the only time I have seen him for the Cardiff Blues this season has been carrying water bottles onto the pitch during breaks in play, and to me, "Bubba" when you look at the current playing staff available, deserves a run of games and an opportunity to see if indeed he can make the move from prop to hooker, what do Cardiff Blues have to lose?

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Bubba On The Bubble
Discussion started by 1876 Cardiff Rugby , 16/03/2016 17:30
1876 Cardiff Rugby
16/03/2016 17:30
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19/03/2016 10:30
Moving to Bath for next season. Good luck to him. He's an excellent forward, just poor at scrummaging. A popular bloke also.

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