Alex Cuthbert relishing Wales return after Blues 'frustration'

Alex Cuthbert
Alex Cuthbert has scored 12 tries for Wales in 26 appearances

Wales wing Alex Cuthbert hopes to put a "frustrating" start to the season behind him when Wales begin their autumn internationals campaign.

Cuthbert has recovered from a groin injury and is in contention to face Australia on 8 November.

After a difficult start to the campaign with the Cardiff Blues, the 24-year-old is looking forward to international action.

"It's been very frustrating," said Cuthbert.

The Blues have only won one of their six Pro12 matches this season, though they have been victorious in both their European Challenge Cup matches against Grenoble and Rovigo.

Cuthbert sat out both those wins through injury, however, and his only try of the season so far came in the opening victory away at Zebre.

"I'm a player who likes to get the ball as much as possible and that's when I do my damage," said Cuthbert.

"Pretty much not being able to do that for the last six or seven weeks has been very frustrating.

"For me, it's just about keeping my head on the game and working hard on what I can do."

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: v Australia (14:30 BST)
Saturday, 15 November: v Fiji (14:30 BST)
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 BST)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 BST)
*All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Cuthbert has been training with the Wales squad as they prepare for their opening Test of the November series.

The 2012 Grand Slam winner's return from a groin injury is welcome news for Wales, who have been hit by a spate of injuries among their backs.

"Conditioning-wise, it's a big step up from club rugby to here (Wales)," said Cuthbert.

"The intensity is a step-up. No disrespect to club rugby but it's another 10 or 15 minutes ball-in-play time at international level.

"I've been working hard. I had a bit of a niggle. It wasn't worth pushing it and being out for a lot longer than I should have been."

Although Cuthbert was a part of the British and Irish Lions' series win in Australia in 2013, the winger has never beaten the Wallabies with Wales.

The last time Wales beat Australia was 2008, and Cuthbert expects another difficult match on 8 November.

"They're playing well and, with the new coach (Michael Cheika) coming in, he's going to add a lot more to the squad and the players' confidence," he said.

"They're playing quite a few games in this period of time so, by the time they play against us, they'll be raring to go."

WALES SQUAD

Forwards:

Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), James King (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).

Backs:

Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), James Roberts (Racing Metro), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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