Martyn Williams tips Blues' Andries Pretorius for Wales squad

Andries Pretorius in training

Former Wales flanker Martyn Williams has tipped South Africa-born Blues skipper Andries Pretorius for Welsh international honours.

Having made his Blues debut in December, 2009, Pretorius is expected to become eligible to play for Wales during the 2012-13 season.

Retired Wales back-row legend Williams said: "We've got unbelievable back-row strength in Wales.

"But Andries is more than capable of getting into that squad."

Pretorius, 26, has made 33 Blues appearances, most often at blindside flanker, and spoke of his Wales ambitions in March 2010.

But Williams says the former Gloucester Academy player can also make a mark at number eight following the retirement of ex-Blues captain Xavier Rush.

Pretorius succeeded Rush's fellow retired New Zealander Paul Tito as Blues captain while Williams also finished playing at the end of the 2011-12 season.

"He's probably on the radar of the Welsh management," said Williams, who won 100 Wales caps.

"We know how good he is at the Blues and, hopefully, if he stays injury free this year he'll have another big year."

Newport Gwent Dragons' Toby Faletau was Wales' first-choice number eight last season while former Wales captain Ryan Jones, of the Ospreys, remains a strong contender for that role.

Williams also believes Pretorius was the outstanding candidate for the Blues captaincy.

He said: "I think that all the players have voted for it so it speaks volumes for how Andries is as a player and a person.

"First and foremost he's an outstanding player and that's the first box you've got to tick as a captain.

"He's an outstanding number eight and he's only going to get better and better.

"But he's also a forceful guy. He's one of the most dedicated players I've ever seen, so his standards off the field are as high as his standards on it.

"He's certainly someone for the younger players to follow."

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