Cardiff Blues: Sherratt hopes young forwards will step up

Dillon Lewis and Seb Davies
Cardiff Blues are hoping Seb Davies (left) and Dillon Lewis can became regulars for the region after their summer tour with Wales

Cardiff Blues assistant coach Matt Sherratt is hoping 21-year-old forwards Dillon Lewis and Seb Davies can become regional regulars after making Wales debuts on the 2017 summer tour.

"It's important for us as a region that we give those players the chance to build on that" said Sherratt.

Lock Davies started wins against Tonga and Samoa in June despite neither having started a Pro12 game.

Prop Lewis began the Samoa match after being a replacement against Tonga.

"(They shouldn't) just have a summer tour and then not play for four or five weeks," said Sherratt, who was himself drafted in for Wales duties.

"They've proved on a fairly tough tour that they can cope at a fairly good level, so hopefully they'll back that up for us.

"I thought it was fantastic, it was a good learning curve and an eye-opener for me as well."

'Surreal' for Lewis

Forwards Lewis, Davies, Ellis Jenkins and Josh Navidi, together with full-back Gareth Anscombe, all started in the mud-bath 19-17 win over Samoa.

"It was a great experience to be in camp with some senior boys and learn a lot from them, hopefully I can take that into the new season" Lewis told BBC Wales Sport.

"Coming off an injury I didn't expect to finish the season the way I did, but it couldn't have happened better.

"It was a bit surreal to get that first cap against Tonga in Eden Park and a massive learning experience being among the likes of (hooker) Scott Baldwin and (centre) Jamie Roberts.

"Then in Samoa it was boiling hot one minute on the beach sunbathing, and teeming down with rain the next so we nearly got lost on the field it was so muddy."

Jenkins targets home caps

Flanker Jenkins also wants to step up his challenge for international honours at home, after winning five caps on successive summer tours.

"I want to push now and play as well as I can for the Blues, to try to get in that autumn (Wales) squad when the Lions are back, and get to the next level," he said.

Cardiff Blues are likely to field their Wales tourists in the final pre-season friendly against Exeter Chiefs on Friday 25 August, including wing Alex Cuthbert who has returned to fitness after a shoulder injury against Tonga.

British and Irish Lions tour captain Sam Warburton has yet to return to regional training after his extended commitments in New Zealand.

Meanwhile Cardiff Blues will start their European Challenge Cup campaign at home to Lyon on Friday 13 October, followed by a trip to four-times European champions Toulouse seven days later.

A double-header against Sale Sharks awaits Blues in December.

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