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Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:55 UK

Andy Powell can fill void left by Xavier Rush - Young

Cardiff Blues number eight Andy Powell
Powell has won 14 caps for Wales since his debut in November 2008

Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young is backing disgraced Wales number eight Andy Powell to fill the gap soon to be left by Xavier Rush.

New Zealander Rush is quitting the Welsh region at the end of the season for Magners League rivals Ulster.

And Young admits there may not be any money to bring in a replacement.

"We've got a very strong squad with a lot of experience and a lot of quality players, and with that comes a price tag," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"We are looking but finances are a problem with any club.

"We're happy with what we've got but we are looking and if there is something out there that's worth pursuing I'm sure the board will be more than happy to do that.

"At this moment in time the strong likelihood is I can't see us replacing him really."

Young has already missed out on Gloucester's Wales international Gareth Delve, who opted for a switch to newly formed Australian side Melbourne Rebels.

But if he was to replace from within, British and Irish Lions tourist Powell has already done the job when Rush missed the start of last season through shoulder surgery.

Powell hit the headlines for the wrong reasons during this year's Six Nations when he was booted out of the Wales squad for being caught driving a golf buggy down the M4 while drunk.

606: DEBATE
shotokan

The incident, in which he received a 15-month driving ban and a £1,000 fine, happened in the early hours after Wales' dramatic 31-24 win over Scotland.

Since his exile, Powell, who has been linked with rugby league side Crusaders, has made three appearances in the Blues back-row before suffering a calf injury which he has now recovered from.

"I would like to think Andy would step up and accept and relish that responsibility," added Young. "He's done that in the past for us.

"Let's not forget we had a very good year last year and Xavier Rush did not play for us until after Christmas.

"Andy was pretty much flying the flag on his own.

"We all know he's capable of doing that and we're thrilled that he's fully fit and looking forward and I'm expecting a good performance off him down at the Dragons [on Friday]."

Young is hoping Powell can put in performances in the Blues' final games of the season and convince Wales coach Warren Gatland to recall him to the national side for June's summer tour to New Zealand.

"Warren has dealt his punishment out and I'm sure all of us would say we want a strong Welsh squad going out there," said Young, who also hopes wing Tom James will be picked after walking out on Wales before the Italy match.

"If they warrant selection, and that's obviously not my call... I'm sure Warren will pick them."



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see also
Dragons 14-20 Cardiff Blues
23 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Blues in market for number eight
02 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Rush quits Blues but Blair stays
08 Feb 10 |  Cardiff Blues
James 'to apologise to Gatland'
29 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Powell admits 'golf buggy' charge
02 Mar 10 |  Wales
Powell regret over 'stupid prank'
24 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Powell removed from Wales squad
15 Feb 10 |  Welsh
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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