Alex Cuthbert: Cardiff Blues coach Danny Wilson urges fans to back wing

Alex Cuthbert
Alex Cuthbert has made one appearance for the British and Irish Lions

Cardiff Blues coach Danny Wilson is urging Welsh fans to back wing Alex Cuthbert after widespread criticism of his performance against England.

Cuthbert scored a try and created another in the Blues' 57-20 win over Treviso after being released by Wales.

"We're proud of him, hopefully the rest of the nation will get behind him and get the best out of him," said Wilson.

Cuthbert was a late replacement against England but George North is expected to return, if fit, against Scotland.

The 26-year-old Cuthbert missed a tackle on Elliot Daly for England's winning try in the Six Nations match, and has not scored for Wales in 12 internationals after touching down 15 times in his first 33 caps.

He was the only Welsh-based player from the starting team against England to be released for PRO12 duties.

But Cuthbert made the most of his opportunity by scoring with a 40-metre run against the Italian strugglers, after setting up Willis Halaholo for another try with a long run from inside his own half.

"One performance in particular, Alex Cuthbert I thought was outstanding," Wilson told BBC Wales Sport after the victory.

"He's thick-skinned, you saw a response of his character. I don't know many who could come out after some of the things that have been said about him, and play like that, we're really proud of him."

Steffan Evans
Steffan Evans made his debut for the Scarlets in 2014

"Amazing" experience for Evans

Uncapped Scarlets flyer Steffan Evans, 22, is the only other fit wing specialist alternative in the Wales squad, if North fails to recover from the thigh injury he suffered in the opening win in Italy.

North sat out Northampton's Sunday match at Newcastle, while Evans scored with a spectacular corner-flag finish and narrowly missed out on another touch-down as they beat Zebre 42-7.

Evans believes that he has benefitted from being in the national squad, taking part in the team run-out the day before the England game as a stand-by player.

"Maybe it was 50-50 (for selection), but it was a great experience, just to warm up in front of the crowd was amazing" said Evans.

"When the time comes, I'll be ready to go. The (Wales) training's more intense and you've got to be more switched-on, your rugby brain is put under pressure and coming back (to the Scarlets) I've shown it, I've developed a lot since being there."

Newport Gwent Dragons wing Ashton Hewitt has not been fit to be considered because of concussion, while Ospreys teenager Keelan Giles made his comeback from a hamstring injury in the Ospreys' PRO12 defeat to Munster.

Wales will name the team on Thursday, 23 February to face Scotland at Murrayfield two days later.

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