Alex Cuthbert needs to prove critics wrong, says Xavier Rush

Alex Cuthbert sinks to the ground after Wales' World Cup defeat by South Africa
Alex Cuthbert has scored 16 tries for Wales
Pro12: Ulster v Cardiff Blues
Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Friday, 23 October Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC TWO Northern Ireland, online, red button. Live score updates BBC Radio Wales and the BBC Sport website

Cardiff Blues wing Alex Cuthbert needs to prove his critics wrong by playing well for his region after the World Cup, says former captain Xavier Rush.

Cuthbert, 25, was the subject of social media criticism following Wales' 23-19 quarter final defeat by South Africa.

Rush played in the same Blues team as Cuthbert and thinks he can rediscover better form and retain his Wales place.

"He needs to put the World Cup behind him, get back to the Blues and pick it up," said the ex-All Blacks forward.

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'It's about his attitude now, he needs to... prove the public wrong and to win his place back for the Six Nations.

"There's going to be a lot of pressure on him so he needs to get it right back at club level."

Cuthbert scored 15 tries in his first 29 appearances for Wales, including two against England in the match that clinched the 2013 Six Nations title.

That form earned him a British and Irish Lions tour in 2013, where he scored a try in the first Test win over Australia.

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However, he has scored just once in his last 12 Wales Tests, was dropped during the 2015 Six Nations, and did not impress during the World Cup.

Rush, who was at the Blues from 2005 until 2012, believes Cuthbert has to get back to "doing what he enjoys" on his return to domestic rugby.

'With the ball in hand he can do a lot of damage, he needs to go looking for those opportunities and start enjoying his rugby again," added Rush.

Bit of unfair criticism

Blues head coach Danny Wilson believes Cuthbert has been unfairly singled out following Wales' defeat by the Springboks.

"We've all seen over the long haul what a quality 'finishing' winger he is - he scores tries," he said.

"If I'm honest he's come in for a little bit of unfair criticism for a player we all know is quality.

"I think he did some really good things and some things I know he won't be as happy with himself about, knowing the standard he holds himself to.

"But I'm sure when he's back on the field with the Blues he'll produce the quality rugby we all know he's capable of."

Wilson has opted to give his Wales World Cup contingent a rest for Blues' Pro12 trip to Ulster on Friday while Gareth Anscombe is out after undergoing ankle surgery.

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