Warburton to start for Blues against Treviso as he looks to prove fitness

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton will play for the Blues against Treviso as he looks to prove his fitness for Wales

Wales captain Sam Warburton will return from injury for Cardiff Blues away to Treviso on Friday, 4 November.

Warburton suffered a damaged cheekbone in the Blues' Pro12 match against Leinster on October 1.

He was unable to make a planned return against Pau three weeks later because of a neck "stinger" in training.

Warburton will start the match in Italy with a view to proving his fitness for Wales ahead of the second Autumn series match against Argentina on November 12.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson told BBC Wales Sport:

"Sam will play some rugby for us this weekend, which knowing Sam and knowing Wales is defintely the right preparation for Wales to give him the confidence he's played some rugby before he goes into a Test match.

"He's just trained (with the Blues on Tuesday), he took a full part with Wales earlier in the week and he's come back for his first training session with us and taken a full part, taken a little bit of contact."

Game time needed

On several previous occasions Warburton has gone straight back into international campaigns after injury breaks, but Wilson says it is better for him to play regional rugby first.

"I know Sam's opinion is that he would rather have some game-time under his belt at maybe a slightly lower level as opposed to going into an international- I think that's common sense for him and for Wales.

"He's missed a few weeks, I think it depends on the length of time he's out- he has been out for a period of time with this one."

Others released

Cardiff Blues also have scrum-half Lloyd Williams, and front-rowers Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey and Scott Andrews released from the Wales squad, together with flanker Ellis Jenkins and full-back Rhun Williams from the training squad.

They have to recover from a 26-15 home derby defeat against the Scarlets as they travel to Italy, with Kiwi centre Willis Halaholo on board for a regional debut.

He played for the Hurricanes side which won the southern hemisphere 2016 Super Rugby title.

USA pair Blaine Scully and Cam Dolan will miss their country's non-Test match against New Zealand Maori in Chicago, to travel to Italy.

The pair will then join up with the American squad facing Romania and Tonga.

"Defence is an area to put right, we worked a lot this week on our chop-tackling" said flanker Macauley Cook.

"I think we went too high on occasions against the Scarlets and in the first 20 minutes we weren't up to speed.

"We know exactly what Treviso are going to bring, they've got a great set-piece and big forwards who are going to carry hard, we need to get our defensive systems and our tackle choices right."

Hooker Kirby Myhill faces a Pro12 disciplinary panel for alleged contact with the eye area of a Scarlets player.

Full-back Dan Fish will miss the trip but his knee injury is less serious than feared after he was stretchered off against the Scarlets.