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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Sunday, 19 April 2009 22:14 UK

Robinson into 'Lions contention'

Nicky Robinson
Fly-half Nicky Robinson has scored 656 points for the Blues in 120 games

Fly-half great Jonathan Davies believes Cardiff Blues number 10 Nicky Robinson has played himself into Lions contention for their South Africa tour.

The 27-year-old inspired the Welsh region to a an EDF Energy Cup triumph over Gloucester and into a Heineken Cup semi-final against Leicester Tigers.

Davies thinks Robinson should join Ronan O'Gara and Stephen Jones when the Lions squad is announced on Tuesday.

"Nicky Robinson has played himself into contention," Davies told BBC Sport.

Lions coach Ian McGeechan has not ruled out taking players to South Africa who are not current internationals and Robinson has not played for Wales in almost three years as the last of his 12 Wales caps was in Argentina in June 2006.

But Davies believes the Cardiff-born fly-half should be one of McGeechan's shock left-field calls for the summer tour against the world champion Springboks.

Davies, the 37-times capped former Wales fly-half, believes O'Gara of Ireland and Welshman Jones should contest the Lions Test team.

Davies' Lions call for Robinson

But Robinson should join Wales' James Hook and England pair Danny Cipriani and Toby Flood in the list of number tens McGeechan should consider prior to the big announcement to take place at a hotel near Heathrow airport.

"At number 10 there are two in Ronan O'Gara and Stephen Jones who are definitely nailed on," said Davies.

"Then you have Cipriani, Hook and Flood but if one guy is on a roll at the moment it is Nicky Robinson.

"Cipriani is playing ok, Hook hasn't played much and Toby Flood is injured and Sam Vesty is playing for Leicester.

"It would be a big call by the Lions coaches to pick Robinson but O'Gara and Stephen Jones are similar types of players."

Robinson's game-management was hailed in the Blues' 50-12 demolition of Gloucester in the EDF Energy Cup final showpiece at Twickenham on Saturday - their first piece of silverware as a region.

606: DEBATE

Robinson, who has played for his home-town club since breaking onto the big stage in 2001, has been out of the Wales reckoning for some time.

Double-Grand Slam winner Jones' consistency has ensured he is Wales number one fly-half while the emergence of Ospreys young duo Hook and Dan Biggar have also restricted Robinson's chances.

But the man who will join Gloucester in the summer has been in top form this season as the Blues begin to establish themselves as a European force.

"The Lions coaches said players have to be playing well to go on tour," said Davies.

"And Nicky is certainly doing that."

But Davies' former Wales half-back partner Robert Jones is not convinced that Robinson can make the giant step up from club rugby to playing the world's best in their own back yard.

Lions 'doubt' for Wales skipper Jones

"Nicky's performances of late have been very good," acknowledged Jones on BBC Wales' Scrum V television show.

"But you are talking about a totally different level with the Lions.

"It would be a big, big call to take him on the back of just club performances although they have been exceptional.

"Nicky controlled the game against Gloucester beautifully.

"He didn't kick a lot in the first-half but when he did in the second-half, the Blues won the kicking game hands down to show he has the ability to control matches.

"Stephen Jones and Ronan O'Gara will go on the Lions tour and the third outside-half spot is between a number of players as there were not many in the Six Nations who put their hand up.

"But I think consistency has been Nicky's problem."



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see also
Blues suffer Spice injury blow
18 Apr 09 |  Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues 50-12 Gloucester
18 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Robinson ready to show Gloucester
30 Mar 09 |  Cardiff Blues
Cooper a Blue as Robinson leaves
13 Mar 09 |  Cardiff Blues
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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