Nicky Robinson: Cardiff Blues return a 'no-brainer' says coach Danny Wilson

Nicky Robinson
Nicky Robinson played 125 times for Cardiff Blues between 2003 and 2009

Cardiff Blues coach Danny Wilson says it was a "no-brainer" to bring former Wales fly-half Nicky Robinson out of retirement.

The 32-year-old joined on a short-term deal after Jarrod Evans broke his jaw.

"For a few months, there aren't a huge amount of players in his position, and when you add the quality of Nicky, it's a no-brainer" Wilson said.

Fellow fly-halves, Gareth Anscombe and Steve Shingler, are also covering full-back because of other injuries.

Dan Fish faces a lengthy lay-off with a serious hamstring injury, while Evans' 2016 Wales Under-20 colleague Rhun Williams is out for a month with a stress fracture of the foot.

17-year-old Ben Jones featured in the Blues' Anglo-Welsh Cup matches against Exeter and the Ospreys, but Wilson believes it would have been asking too much to expose him to the PRO12 or European Challenge Cup.

"[The competition] is a good experience for a 17 year-old [number] 10, but that's the borderline. To put a 17 year-old to play Ulster at home, Bath home and away, then the Christmas derbies would be a step too far."

It has also been revealed that scrum-half Lewis Jones will miss most of the season following a knee ligament operation, prompting the signing of Samoa scrum-half Pele Cowley.

Horsing around

Monbeg Dude
Nicky Robinson is part of the Oydunow Syndicate which owns Monbeg Dude

Robinson, who played for Gloucester, Wasps, Bristol and French side Oyonnax after leaving the Arms Park in 2009, revealed he came out of retirement on the same day that the horse he co-owns, Welsh national winner Monbeg Dude, went into retirement.

The former Blues favourite returned to the UK after Oyonnax were relegated from the top flight in May 2016, and has been working as a pundit on S4C.

"The night that we retired the 'Dude', Danny [Wilson] gave me a shout so it all happened really quickly, but it didn't take me long to come to my decision," Robinson said.

"I haven't been training at anywhere near the intensity I would have been if I was playing, but I've kept myself ticking over, though I haven't got much time.

"I know I'm here for cover, but I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to play. I'll do whatever the coaches want me to do."

Robinson is still younger than Blues front-rowers Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees and Taufa'ao Filise.

Captains doubt

Sam Warburton
Wales captain Sam Warburton missed the Autumn international against South Africa through injury

Late decisions will be taken on the fitness of Wales captain Sam Warburton who has a shoulder problem and his stand-in, Blues captain Jenkins - who also has a shoulder injury as well as a sickness bug - before the PRO12 match against Ulster at Cardiff Arms Park.

Robinson and Cowley could be involved in the squad if necessary, against an Ulster side whose most recent fixture against Zebre in Belfast was frozen off.

"They needed that fixture, they've had three weeks without a game though their Irish players will come back to them off a very successful Autumn series [beating New Zealand and Australia], so if they come fully loaded, it'll be quite a challenge" said Wilson.

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