James Botham (pictured) is the grandson of England cricket great Sir Ian Botham
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Wales call-up James Botham has been earmarked as a potential player for Wales at the next Rugby World Cup by forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.
Botham, the grandson of England cricket great Sir Ian Botham, was called up by Wales on Monday and has previously played for the Wales Under-20 side.
The 22-year-old flanker has stood out for Cardiff Blues this season and could now make his international debut against Georgia in Llanelli this weekend.
"We identified Jim in the (Welsh) derby (Guinness Pro14) games. We thought that athletically he certainly has the ability to compete in international rugby," Humphreys said. "In those games, he had some big moments. It was at that point that we probably really identified him as someone going forward to 2023 that would certainly be in our plans. And with the injuries that we have at the moment, and the uncertainty over some people being able to start at the weekend, it was a great opportunity to bring him in."
Saturday’s fixture is a must-win for head coach Wayne Pivac and his coaching staff after falling to six straight Test defeats, one of their worst losing runs since 2012. Humphreys, as Pivac has done in the past, stressed that Wales were continuing to build towards the next Rugby World Cup.
"Our mood is pretty good," Humphreys added. "Obviously, the boys are down in terms of outcomes of these games. It’s always tough times, but we see the bigger picture of where we need to go.
"Within that, there were always going to be ups and downs. As long as we are concentrating on where we need to go, with the players we need to get there, there is always that belief that we’ll get there. As a group of coaches, we know what we want to get to. We know what it’s going to take."