Cardiff Blues: Danny Wilson defends Tom James 'sharpness'

Tom James in action for Wales against Scotland
Tom James has made his 12th appearances for Wales against Scotland in the 2016 Six Nations Championship

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson has defended wing Tom James after he was dropped by Wales.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said James was short on "sharpness" as he named fellow Blues wing Alex Cuthbert in his place for the 19-10 win over France.

Neither player has been released for Blues' game in Glasgow on Sunday, as Wales prepare to face England.

"He [James] is in great nick, he's extremely fit, a very powerful and dynamic runner," said Wilson.

"In our camp, he's been great and stepping up to international rugby is for other people to assess, not for me.

"Around the World Cup he had a small injury to his foot which has needed a little management.

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"He's completed the same training as the other boys - the Cuthberts of the world and so on. Maybe he can't put in quite the same miles, so to speak, on our surface.

"We've been really happy with his fitness at Cardiff Blues."

James, 28, started both Wales' opening Six Nations matches against Ireland and Scotland but failed to score in either.

For Friday's victory against France he was replaced by Cuthbert, who had initially lost his place to James after a poor run of form which included a failure to score a try in five matches at the 2015 World Cup.

It appears both could be in contention to face England having not been released for the Blues this weekend.

Alex Cuthbert and Tom James
Alex Cuthbert and Tom James are in contention for selection for Wales against England

"It's a good battle. It's one I don't have to make the decision on, which is nice," said Wilson.

"It's just pleasing, first and foremost from our point of view, that we've got two players in the same position who are both in the Wales squad and both challenging.

"They're both guys who've been in form for us this season and a real tough choice, I'd imagine, to pick between them."

With the Blues in Pro12 action against Glasgow on Sunday and Wales at Twickenham six days later, Wilson feels Gatland's decision not to release James - who played in last Sunday's win against Ulster - was precautionary.

"It's probably about making sure we look after their players to reduce the risk of injury going into what is an enormous game for Wales," he added.

"I fully understand that and we're very appreciative to have the two boys [hooker Kristian Dacey and back-rower Josh Turnbull] back to play."

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