Andy Powell has been backed to roar for the British Lions next year following his stunning rise to stardom with Wales.
Powell, 27, exploded onto the Test scene for the dragons with all-action displays last month including last weekend's famous win over Australia in Cardiff.
Now Powell's regional coach Dai Young reckons Lions chief Ian McGeechan cannot ignore the claims of selecting Wales' own wrecking ball for next summer's tour to South Africa.
Cardiff Blues coach Young said: "Andy's certainly in the running for the Lions - I've not seen a better performance from a number eight in the northern hemisphere this Autumn.
"His ball carrying and evasive skills are as good as anybody in world rugby. The Six Nations will be a big factor and teams will focus more on Andy's strengths than weaknesses. It will be another test and a hurdle for Andy to get over and he needs to keep adapting and improving.
"But if Wales win the Grand Slam again, they will be plenty of our players going."
Powell was hailed as the next Scott Quinnell when he burst onto the scene in 2001 but nearly quit the game three years later.
The powerhouse number eight had spells at Newport, Beizers and Leicester Tigers before capping a remarkable comeback with a smashing Test debut that left the world champions South Africa shell-shocked.
Powell followed up that inspired display with impressive performances against Canada, New Zealand and the Wallabies but Young has warned future international opponents the best is still to come.
Young said: "I've never doubted Andy's ability but it's great that he's fulfilled his potential everyone has known about for a number of years.
"It's not been his fault because he's had bad shoulder injuries and during that time out, he probably realised the clock has been ticking.
"Andy's really matured over the last year and is making his mark now - he's been a massive player for us this year. But there is still more to come.
"He wants to be the all-round number eight. We know he can do the unexpected but he can still improve."
Young welcomes back nine of Wales' Autumn squad for the region's crucial Heineken Cup clash with Biarritz at the Arms Park on Friday night.
Talismanic Xavier Rush will miss the tie with the French giants after his comeback from a knee injury has been delayed until next month.
Young said: "Xavier has had an injection in his knee and won't take any part in our next two games. It's not a long-term problem but it's unlikely we will see him before the New Year."
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