Cardiff Blues: Mulvihill pokes fun at Ospreys in derby build-up

Gareth Anscombe
Gareth Anscombe suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of Wales' World Cup campaign
Pro14: Ospreys v Cardiff Blues
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea Date; Sat, 21 December Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on the BBC Sport website and app, updates on BBC Radio Wales

Cardiff Blues coach John Mulvihill has mocked Ospreys' marketing of Saturday's Pro14 derby in which they used a large picture of former Blues player Gareth Anscombe outside Cardiff Arms Park.

The Wales fly-half joined Ospreys in the summer, but has yet to play for them because of injury.

"Obviously they've got plenty of money, so if they want to help us, we're all for that," joked Mulvihill.

"It would be good if they actually put up players who were going to play!"

However, Mulvihill hopes the marketing, which also included ex-Blues lock Bradley Davies, pays dividends with a big crowd at Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

He said: "The Welsh public love to see these games, we'll have two full houses (over the holiday season) and I hope the Ospreys through their marketing campaign - using our former Blues players - get a good crowd."

Blues may have Wales back-rower Josh Navidi available after the torn hamstring which he suffered at the World Cup, while veteran New Zealander Nick Williams could have to wait until later in the derby programme for his re-appearance after a leg injury.

Ospreys have been hit by injuries and World Cup calls this season and Mulvihill is desperate to end a dreadful run of no wins at Liberty Stadium since 2005.

"Our record down there hasn't been good in the last 13 years, it's something we need to right this week," he said.

"They question the heart, resolve and fight that capital teams have, we're [supposedly] all born with silver spoons in our mouth and get things easy."

Evans' Wales hopes

Fly-half Jarrod Evans will go into the derby programme as the top-ranked Welsh-based fly-half despite missing out on the World Cup, with injuries to Anscombe and Scarlets' Rhys Patchell opening up a 2020 Six Nations chance for him.

"It's almost like a trial period for some of the players, but you've got to park that at the back of your mind and do what's best for the team. I got the (Wales) chance in the Barbarians game which was an enjoyable week.

"Most of the boys enjoyed a different way of playing (under Wayne Pivac), I see that I can do that (fit in) a bit more under these coaches, and hopefully my club form can take me where I want to get to."

Pack recruitment

With the excitement of Evans and the star names outside him such as Josh Adams, Owen Lane and Hallam Amos already at the Arms Park, Mulvihill plans to strengthen their pack when the professional sides' budgets are confirmed.

"We'll be looking to bolster our front five; last year we did very well with some astute signings in the backline and when they click it's brilliant. But there's no point having the Ferrari in the garage when you don't have the motor to run it, so we're looking for some power forwards."

Cardiff Blues are fifth in Conference B of the Pro14 with three wins from seven, while Ospreys have just one victory in Conference A.

Top Stories