Sam Warburton: Cardiff Blues captain rues long wait before Dragons derby

Sam Warburton
Wales captain Sam Warburton has 69 caps for his country

Cardiff Blues acting captain Sam Warburton is regretting the long wait between fixtures after their 38-3 Challenge Cup hammering at Bath.

The region host Newport Gwent Dragons in a Pro12 derby on Boxing Day.

"I usually enjoy the day off after a match, but I'm already looking forward to the squad going back out there," the Wales captain told BBC Wales Sport.

The Wales skipper needs to recover from a back problem which forced him off early at the Rec.

"Back issues are something I've had on and off my whole career, I think most players struggle with backs, but it's embarrassing when you have to come off, especially against a great club like Bath," he said.

Warburton is filling in as captain for the region in the absence of Wales prop Gethin Jenkins following bicep surgery.

"You don't really want to wait eleven days when you know the last game you played had a scoreline like that," Warburton said after the heavy defeat.

"Hopefully we'll get some good rest and recovery, and get a stronger squad out against the Dragons. There'll be no problem with hoping the boys get up for it.

"The season's been a bit strange with quite a few ups and downs, but the derbies are where we've always prided ourselves, and we haven't done too well recently against the Scarlets and Ospreys."

Wings Alex Cuthbert and Tom James, hooker Kristian Dacey, and Kiwi number eight Nick Williams could return after injury for the Arms Park derby match.

But Blaine Scully (concussion) and Steve Shingler (hamstring) are fitness concerns as well as Warburton, while lock George Earle (red card for eye contact) and hooker Kirby Myhill (who received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle) could face bans.

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