Wales captain Sam Warburton set to be fit for Six Nations opener against Ireland
Wales captain Sam Warburton will make his comeback from injury on Friday.
Warburton has been named in the Cardiff Blues starting line-up for their European Challenge Cup pool game against Italian side Calvisano. The 27-year-old flanker has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in late November, but he now returns to action 17 days before Wales' RBS 6 Nations Championship opener against Ireland.
"Sam has been gutted because he is really keen to play all the time for Cardiff Blues," Blues head coach Danny Wilson told the team's official website. I have learnt very quickly that he wants to be out there.
"I have to give credit to John Miles (Blues' head of medical services) and his team. They have got him back in perfect time. It was quite a nasty injury, so it's good to see him back."
Warburton is among seven Blues players selected this week in the Wales Six Nations squad who will be part of Blues' match-day 23 against Calvisano.
Wings Alex Cuthbert and Tom James, centre Cory Allen, fly-half Gareth Anscombe and prop Gethin Jenkins join Warburton in the starting XV, while scrum-half Lloyd Williams is on bench duty.
Wilson added: "We are not taking this game lightly. We need five points, and we are at home, so we have picked a strong team to try and do just that.
"The outcome of our (quarter-final) qualification hopes is now out of our hands. All we can concentrate on is our performance and getting the five points we need."