Josh Adams won’t feature for Cardiff Blues this weekend even though they are hard hit in the back three, with Dai Young saying he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if the Wales wing got injured ahead of the Lions tour.
Director of rugby Young has revealed he has had sleepless nights ahead of fielding Adams in recent games for fear of him picking up a knock that could rule him out of the trip to South Africa.
Now he has opted to rest the try machine for Saturday evening’s final match of the season against Zebre at the Arms Park.
That’s despite the Blues being very low on numbers in the back three.
Hallam Amos is the latest casualty, having failed a midweek test following the concussion he suffered during last Friday’s narrow defeat to Munster in Limerick.
He joins Owen Lane (suspended) and Aled Summerhill (wrist) on the sidelines, with fellow outside backs Garyn Smith, Rey Lee Lo, Max Llewellyn and Mason Grady also injured.
But there was no way Young was going to ask Adams to put in another shift with the Blues unable to reach the final of the Rainbow Cup.
“Josh is not involved,” said the director of rugby.
“I have already had two sleepless nights the nights before we played those games with him on the field.
“Although you can’t put them in cotton wool, the last thing you want is somebody to miss the tour on the back of an injury.
“We can’t get to the final, so there was absolutely no way I was going to play him in this game.
“I wouldn’t forgive myself if he played in this game and got injured.
“He has played enough rugby, he has demonstrated that he’s ready to play.
“If this was an opportunity for us to get to the final, I may have taken a different view.
“But, as someone who has experienced those once-in-a-lifetime moments of touring for the Lions, I certainly wouldn’t want one of my players to miss out through playing in this game.”
As for Amos, he was hurt in a controversial tackle from Munster full-back Mike Haley during the Blues’ 31-27 defeat at Thomond Park.
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Many felt the incident should have resulted in a red card rather than the yellow handed out by referee Andrew Brace, but that a decision has been officially supported with no citing forthcoming.
It meant the end of the game for Welsh international Amos, who failed a Head Injury Assessment, and he remains unavailable.
“When he was tested on Tuesday, he was still symptomatic,” said Young.
“So that means he was timed out on the protocols for this game.
“But I am sure he will be available for Wales’ summer Test matches.”
It leaves Young with just three specialist back-three players available in Matthew Morgan, Jason Harries and Dan Fish, while the versatile Harri Millard is fit again to provide outside backs cover.