Bradley Davies relishes chance to lead Wales on Japan tour

Bradley Davies in action for Wales against Samoa in 2012


Hanazono Stadium, Osaka & Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, Tokyo
Saturdays 8 & 15 June, 2013
06:00 BST
Coverage - First-Test:
(Osaka) - Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online
Coverage - Second Test :
(Tokyo) - Live on S4C, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales & BBC online

Bradley Davies says captaining Wales on their tour to Japan is a great honour at the end of a tough season.

The Cardiff Blues second row missed Wales' Six Nations defence with ankle ligament problems.

But he was named captain for June's two-Test tour by acting head coach Robin McBryde on Tuesday.

"It's been a bit of a stop-start season for me with injuries, but I'm just glad to finish the season on a bit of a high really," said Davies.

"They always say there's light at the end of the tunnel and [I went] through all those dark times in the gym on my own and now I've got a massive positive to finish the season on."

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McBryde explains captaincy choice

Davies was initially injured in a clash with All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore during Wales' 33-10 defeat against New Zealand in Cardiff in November.

That was followed by a training session injury with the Blues in January that saw him miss the whole of the Six Nations Championship.

"I was more than happy just to get back in the squad to be honest," added Davies, who captained Wales to a Grand Slam at Under-19s level.

"But for Robin [McBryde] to call me [to offer the captaincy] was a great honour and something that I thank him for.

"I hope I say the right things when they need to be said, and just give them a kick up the [backside] every now and again probably."

With 15 Wales players in the British and Irish Lions party to tour Australia, and former captains Ryan Jones and Matthew Rees rested, the 38-times capped Davies is the most experienced player in a tour party that includes nine uncapped players.

And he admits he will have to tone down his reputation as the squad joker because there is a serious test facing Wales.

"It's going to be tough," he said.

"The key for [Japan] is they play against top teams every year and the challenge is massive for us as a young squad.

"But it's something that we're willing to grasp and try and get these young boys playing a bit of rugby with a bit of freedom."

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