James Botham and Seb Davies’ ability to bounce back from international disappointment to produce stand-out performances in Friday’s win over Scarlets is a testament to their character, according to Dai Young.
Having been involved in the Wales squad for the Autumn Nations Cup, they missed out on Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad for the Guinness Six Nations campaign.
However, both players were instrumental in the winning effort at Parc y Scarlets on Friday, with Botham named Guinness Player of the Match after completing a match-high 27 tackles, winning two turnovers and achieving a 78 per cent collision dominance.
Davies meanwhile contributed with a number of bone-crunching, aggressive tackles in defence, carried hard and maintained a 91 per cent tackle completion rate.
Young believes their reaction proved to be the perfect way to prove a point and put their hand up for future international selection.
“It’s a measure of the man, isn’t it? They’re both young men with big futures in front of them and they will have ups and downs,” said the director of rugby.
“But it’s about how you bounce back from them disappointing moments, and both of them bounced back in the right manner.
“They did their talking on the field. I’m sure they were hugely disappointed in the week but that’s the only way they can react.
“They need to go out there, perform well and keep putting their hand up. They showed what they’re made of tonight.”
In contrast, outside half Jarrod Evans has returned to the Wales squad having missed out on selection over the autumn.
The playmaker was crucial in both back-to-back victories over the west Wales outfit, playing a key role in all four tries scored by his side across the two contests.
Young has been impressed by Evans’ mentality and form and believes his hard work has been rewarded, as he seeks to add to his six international caps: “It’s obviously great for him. I can’t pretend to be anything bar biased. It’s my job to do well for Cardiff Blues but also to produce international players to go on and help Wayne and the boys there.
“Having watched from afar, Jarrod has been a big part of this Cardiff Blues side. For a young man he’s had to show a lot of responsibility.
“He’s come out the other side. There are parts of his game that he wants to improve on, but nobody is working harder on it than him, and there are big parts of his game that are up there with the best of them.
“Some guys get knocks in team sports while others get positive news. Hopefully now he can go on and get that red jersey on and state his claim.
“That would be fantastic for him, but he’s also a real level-headed guy who keeps his feet on the ground and every time he puts on the Cardiff Blues jersey he gives everything to the cause.
“You can’t ask much more from him and there’s still more to come from him, but he’s a pretty decent player already.”