Pro12: Cardiff Blues boss Danny Wilson questions Welsh derbies dates

Gareth Anscombe
Gareth Anscombe is one of eight Cardiff Blues players included in Wales' squad for the autumn Tests
Pro12: Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
Date: Friday, 28 October Venue: Cardiff Arms Park Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Scrum V Live on BBC Two Wales, BBC Sport online and the BBC Sport app. Highlights later on the BBC Sport website and Scrum V on Sunday, 30 October

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson has questioned the scheduling of Pro12 derbies the weekend before Wales face Australia.

Blues host Scarlets on Friday, 28 October and Ospreys face Dragons a day later.

Wales players may not be available as they concentrate on training ahead of the opening autumn Test on 5 November.

"For me the derbies with all the internationals available are the ones that fill stadiums," Wilson said.

Wales' game against the Wallabies at the Principality Stadium falls outside World Rugby's international window.

Blues have eight players in the Wales squad, including international captain Sam Warburton, regional skipper Gethin Jenkins, half-backs Lloyd Williams and Gareth Anscombe and wing Alex Cuthbert.

Danny Wilson
Cardiff Blues finished seventh in the Pro12 in Danny Wilson's first season in charge, 2015-16

Scarlets could travel to the Welsh capital without prop Samson Lee, hooker Ken Owens, lock Jake Ball scrum-half Gareth Davies, centres Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams and full-back Liam Williams.

Only those Wales squad players judged in need of extra game-time are likely to be released for the two Pro12 games.

"I think it probably invites looking at the structure of the season," added Wilson, a former Wales Under-20 head coach.

"You play the derbies in things like (Anglo-Welsh development competition) the LV Cup maybe where you don't have your internationals; Pro12 derbies is a bit of a first."

Wales interim head coach Rob Howley, when asked about the possible release of Wales players, said the Pro12 fixture schedule had been drawn up months after the internationals were confirmed.

He said the Wales management would discuss players on an individual basis.

"We understand the derbies are important, but we've got a Test match to prepare for and we've got to make sure we give the players the best opportunity to be at their best," Howley said.

"You do understand the coaches' perspective in terms of the players they are losing, but ultimately we need to prepare for a Test match."

Wales are likely to be more reliant on home-based players for the first international since they are not guaranteed some of their English-based players for a game played outside the international window.

Tomas Francis, Luke Charteris and Ross Moriarty are not likely to be released by their clubs under Premiership rules, though Wales hope Jamie Roberts and George North will be available despite those regulations.

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