Mighty Mason Has Cardiff Waking From Their Slumber

Something is stirring down at the Arms Park and Cardiff wing Mason Grady has been a big part of the fresh signs of life.

It’s not quite a giant re-awakening moment yet, but home victories over the Bulls and the Stormers – with a draw in Italy against Zebre sandwiched in between – suggest Cardiff are shaking off a sluggish start to the campaign.

They can give further indication of that on Saturday if they beat the Scarlets in the capital in another Welsh derby fixture in the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Grady has been a powerful presence for Cardiff in those recent wins and showed his finishing skills with a crucial try in his team’s win against the Stormers.

It took his try tally for the season to four and the player who was only picked for one game for Wales at the World Cup and he says: “I feel like I’ve got my mojo back a bit at the moment.

“I was probably a little bit frustrated game-time wise in the World Cup and before the tournament, but that’s just the way things go.

“I was learning off the more senior boys and I watched quite a lot of rugby during the World Cup which has helped with my knowledge.

“I just bided my time and it motivated me to start well this season and it’s going well so far.”

Now, he will be looking for another impactful performance against the Scarlets at the Arms Park on Saturday afternoon as Cardiff look to make amends for their 31-25 defeat down in Llanelli earlier this month.

“We have got a point to prove because they beat us a few weeks ago,” said Grady.

“We are looking forward to it and hopefully the crowd will get behind us again.”

The other two Welsh regions both have difficult-looking away trips on Saturday.

The Dragons are out in South Africa and take on the Lions in Johannesburg, while the Ospreys are in Italy to face Benetton, who are currently sixth in the URC table – three places above the Ospreys who are Wales’ highest-placed team.

The Dragons have found it a bruising experience so far in South Africa, but they have been boosted by the return to fitness of Will Reed, who will start at No.10.

That’s a significant plus point as the remainder of coach Dai Flanagan’s options for the key playmaker role are all currently injured.

Wales back row forward Aaron Wainwright admitted there have been some “honest conversations” after the Dragons’ heavy defeat to the Sharks in Durban last week.

“We probably weren’t at the races,” said Wainwright.

“They (South African teams) want a set piece battle and to take you on up front. When they get a bit of momentum it’s so hard to stop.

“We need to take the physical challenge to them and discipline will also be a massive factor – compare the Ospreys win to the Sharks game and there was a big difference.”

The Ospreys will give 20-year-old outside-half Dan Edwards his first start for the region out in Treviso.

A week after beating the Scarlets 31-9, the Ospreys have made wholesale changes and include none of their Wales’ World Cup contingent.

Ospreys backs coach Richard Fussell said: “Benetton are a good side at the minute, they’re sitting in sixth in the league and they’ve only lost one game so far this season.

“They’re a big, strong outfit that will be hard to break down. We know the task, but it’s about continuing on from our performance last week.”