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Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:19 UK

Cardiff Blues' Xavier Rush unfazed by Edwards factor

AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINAL
Venue: Adams Park, High Wycombe Date: Saturday, 1 May Kick-off: 1800 BST
Coverage: Live scores on BBC Sport website

Xavier Rush
Xavier Rush is playing his last games for Cardiff Blues

Captain Xavier Rush says Cardiff Blues will not be at a disadvantage when they face Shaun Edwards's Wasps side in their Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final.

Edwards is head coach at Wasps and also defence coach for Wales, where he has worked with half-a-dozen Blues players.

"Hopefully it will even itself out," said number eight Rush. "He will know quite a few of our players and maybe how to shut them down.

"But quite a few of our boys will know his structures and strategies as well."

606: DEBATE
Lord Dowlais

Rush added: "Shaun Edwards takes a pretty major role in their defensive strategies and they've got a pretty good blitz defence.

"We'll have to be at our best to break that down."

The Blues still face a possible injury crisis ahead of the Amlin match at Adams Park.

British and Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts was forced off in the Magners League win over the Dragons with a knee problem, while scrum-half Richie Rees (ankle) was also injured.

The Blues have said they will give Roberts and Rees as much time as possible to prove their fitness before naming their team on Friday.

Jamie Roberts
Jamie Roberts was injured in the derby game against Newport Gwent Dragons

If Rees is not fit to play the Blues will turn to academy player Darren Allinson, who has played just six times for the team this year.

Wales centre Tom Shanklin and flanker Robin Sowden Taylor are already out for the Blues.

"A couple of the players picked up bumps in Newport so we will wait as long as we can before naming the side," said director of rugby David Young.

The Blues will meet Wasps on Saturday on a run of seven consecutive away wins.

Rush said: "We've had some really good performances. But obviously playing them up on their patch they are going to be right up for it.

"It's a semi final of a pretty major competition so we've got a tough game on our hands."

It looked like we were long gone from lots of competitions
Xavier Rush

Wasps have won three out of the last four games in all competitions and have lost just twice at home since the start of the year.

"They've had a mixed season, like ourselves [but] they are showing good form at home," said Rush.

Saturday's game could be Rush's penultimate in Cardiff colours if the Blues lose, and fail to clinch a play-off place in the Magners League.

He is moving to Magners rivals Ulster next season - but he said the Blues were feeling positive about the end of the season, saying "things have opened up for us in the last three or four weeks".

"It looked like we were long gone from lots of competitions - even making next year's Heineken Cup but with some good form we have managed to turn the season around a bit.

"The possibility of being in a couple of semi-finals is starting to poke its head up."

He said the players were enjoying the style they were playing and were "playing for each other".

"The energy is good among the team and training is good - we're just looking forward to every game as it comes," he added.

"It would be great to leave on a good note."



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see also
Blues face Cup semi injury crisis
24 Apr 10 |  Cardiff Blues
Dragons 14-20 Cardiff Blues
23 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Young welcomes Wasps semi-final
11 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Newcastle 20-55 Blues
11 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union
Scrum-half Cooper doubt for tour
07 Apr 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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