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Ellis focused solely on Cardiff Blues

15th April 2016

Ellis Jenkins has knocked any thoughts of an international call-up into touch as he focuses on Cardiff Blues' bid to secure a top six finish.

The in form flanker has been linked with a place on Wales’ summer tour to New Zealand after Justin Tipuric was ruled out.

But Jenkins prefers to concentrate on affairs closer to home with the Blues still in the hunt ahead of today’s Welsh derby against Newport Gwent Dragons.

He said: “All I can do is focus on the rest of the season with the Blues but like any player in Wales, if the call came then it would be great. If you find a player in Wales that doesn’t want to do that then I would be very surprised.

“It’s an end goal but it can’t be at the forefront of your mind. If you concentrate on what you are doing and if you deserve a call-up you will be called up.”

There is plenty of back-row competition at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park with Jenkins swapping flanks with Wales captain Sam Warburton against the Dragons.

Josh Navidi drops to the bench with Josh Turnbull moving from the second-row to number eight and Jenkins believes that strength in depth is driving everyone to greater heights.

He said: “At the start of the season I felt I was playing really well and it was frustrating when I hurt my knee.

“The timing of the injury wasn’t great and I was a little bit worried I wouldn’t be able to find the form again. It took a couple of games but I’m back to a level where I’m happy, especially with the results we’ve had.

“There’s a lot of competition but we’ve also shown we can play together. It’s good for us and the competition in the team is shown with quality players coming off the bench.

“It seems like we’re going in the right direction, especially towards next year but with three games left we are in a great position to push ourselves up the league and hopefully to get into the top six.”

It will be another formidable back-row battle against the Dragons who have named Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd and Taulupe Faletau.

The Rodney Parade-based outfit claimed a memorable European Challenge Cup victory over Gloucester last weekend and Jenkins is wary of both their individual and collective form.

He added: “We have had three really good performances and good results,  and it doesn’t take anything to get up for a derby game.

‘The Dragons have come off a great win last week, we’ve had a good win against the Scarlets so I’m sure it will be a good occasion and a tough game.

“He’s a nuisance which is what I always like other people to say about me. If you speak to any of the Dragons players about who their best player is and who is underrated, they will always say Nic Cudd. He’s a quality player.”