Brothers go head-to-head in Wales trial

11:01am Monday 26th May 2014

THE 23-year-old Wales Sevens star is the least experienced player in either side taking part in this Friday's Senior Wales Trial at the Liberty Stadium when it comes to playing regional rugby.

James Davies, formerally of Whitland (he's made just two appearances for the Scarlets as a replacement) will pack down against a Probables back row who can boast 132 caps between them, the Possibles are a fresh-faced ensemble with only Josh Turnbull (5) and Ospreys No 8 Dan Baker (2) capped at the highest level with rookie Davies and Cardiff Blues blindside flanker Macauley Cook yet to play for Wales at the highest level.

However the prospect of facing some of the biggest names in the world game doesn't faze Davies and he is already salivating at the prospect of knocking over his big brother, Jonathan Davies, the Wales and British and Irish Lions centre.

"I always used to smash him up in the back garden when playing when we were growing up as kids, so it's going to be like old times," he said with a grin the size of the Loughor bridge before adding, "saying that he's always been very supportive of me and my rugby and tried to keep me on the right pathway."

Davies may lack experience at regional and international rugby in the 15-man game, but in the abbreviated form he has been a standout performer for Gareth Williams' Wales Sevens side which competes on the HSBC World Series.

Despite missing two tournaments from the 2013-14 series, the Carmarthen Quins flanker still managed to score more tries than any other member of the squad (22) with winger Luke Morgan the nearest challenger on 21 touchdowns.

Davies also headed the queue for line-breaks and was the top tackler to illustrate his all round game.

Williams has no doubts Davies, universally known as 'Cubby', has the attributes to make it in the 15-man code.

"Cubby has been with us in the Sevens programme for two and half years," said the Wales Sevens head coach.

"He first came through our development FIRA squad and it's great to see him progress to this sort of level - it's testament to the work he has put in. He has a great skill set for a flanker. He stays over the ball with lots of tenacity where he is a right nuisance at the breakdown and in an open and fast game he comes in to his own as he possesses bags of pace."

Davies is quick to praise the work the Sevens team have put in when it comes to his development.

"Sevens has been a big part of my life over the past couple of years and full credit to the Wales Sevens boys and backroom staff to get me where I am. My club side Carmarthen Quins have also been a big help," he said.

Davies may be up against tough opposition and a spot on the three-match tour to South Africa might be a long shot but he is determined to grab the chance afforded to him with both hands.

"When I first found out of about my inclusion in one of the Trial teams it came as a bit of a shock but it's a great opportunity for me. I've just got to concentrate on my own game but I'm really looking forward to the challenge ahead."

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