Josh Navidi played number eight for Wales in the two tour matches against Tonga and Samoa in June 2017
Autumn internationals: Wales v Australia
Date: Saturday, 11 November Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Josh Navidi says he hopes it will not be four years between Wales call-ups again as he plays his first international in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Cardiff Blues flanker won his first cap in Japan in 2013 but had to wait until the summer of 2017 before playing against Tonga and Samoa.

After matches in Tokyo, Apia and Auckland, Navidi will make his first home Test appearance against Australia.

“There were times I thought I’d get into squads but didn’t,” said Navidi.

The Blues back-rower has been consistent for his region and is handed his chance with injuries to Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ellis Jenkins.

“It’s nothing I dwelled on,” said Navidi.

“I concentrated on playing well for the Blues.

“It was a long time from getting my first to my second cap. Hopefully I have broken that barrier now.

“I can cover anywhere in the back row, as long as I’m on that pitch I’m happy.

“With the injuries, I thought I had a chance.

“It’s the first time I have played for Wales at home and playing in the Principality Stadium in a red jersey instead of a blue one will be special.”

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Navidi praised the influence of fellow Blues team-mate Warburton on his career.

“He’s been massive,” said Navidi,

“He is world class at the breakdown, so anything from him you’ll take on board.”

The dreadlocked Navidi is a charismatic character whose father had Iranian roots and was a keen wrestler.

Navidi worked full-time in the family gym in Bridgend from the age of 16 before travelling to New Zealand to playing rugby.

The 26-year-old is also a personal trainer and keen DJ and on Saturday he will be aiming to keep up with Australian captain Michael Hooper who is considered one of the finest flankers in the world.

“It’s a big opportunity for me,” said Navidi.

“Hopefully I can do one on him on the weekend and we will get the win.”

Aaron Shingler was the man-of-the-match for the Scarlets in the Pro14 final against Munster in May 2017

Navidi will link up in an unfamiliar back-row with Taulupe Faletau and Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler who admitted he previously thought his international career was over.

Shingler, 30, won his first cap against Scotland back in the 2012 Grand Slam campaign but has only made nine more appearances in five years.

After initially being left out of the Wales squad for the 2017 summer Tests against Tonga and Samoa, Shingler was a late call-up for James King and impressed after starting both matches.

“I thought before the summer tour selection if I’m not in that squad that’s pretty much it,” said Shingler.

“I wasn’t initially picked, I got a bit of luck with an injury and the coaches seemed happy with how I went on the tour.

“I don’t feel like I have had a massive opportunity in my career so this is a good time for me.”


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