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Alex Cuthbert of Wales is out for six weeks after tearing hamstring against England

Wales winger Cuthbert out for six weeks after tearing hamstring against England

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

18:24 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:25 GMT, 20 March 2013

Wales winger Alex Cuthbert has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring tear sustained in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations title-clinching victory over England.

Cuthbert, who scored two tries in the 30-3 rout at the Millennium Stadium, will miss at least four of the Cardiff Blues' remaining five RaboDirect PRO 12 matches.

If the injury takes six weeks to heal, he will also be sidelined for their final game against Ulster on
May 3.

Sidelined: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is to be out for six weeks

Sidelined: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is to be out for six weeks

'Alex suffered a grade two hamstring strain in the first 30 minutes of the match against England. He is expected to be out for between four to six weeks,' read a statement released by the Blues.

Cuthbert is expected to tour with the British & Irish Lions this summer and while the injury will not affect his chances of travelling to Australia, it will leave him short of match fitness ahead of the first game against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.

'Grade two strain': It is Cuthbert's hamstring that is proving the problem

'Grade two strain': It is Cuthbert's hamstring that is proving the problem

Alex Cuthbert signs new contract at Cardiff Blues

Wales wing Cuthbert rejects French overtures to sign new three-year deal at Cardiff Blues

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UPDATED:

09:26 GMT, 20 December 2012

Wing wizard: Cuthbert has put pen to paper

Wing wizard: Cuthbert has put pen to paper

Wales wing Alex Cuthbert has resisted the temptation of joining several of his international team-mates in France by signing a new three-year contract with Cardiff Blues.

Cuthbert, a star performer in the Test match arena this year, has bucked the trend of top Wales players moving to France, with Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate both set to join the exodus next season.

Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins, James Hook and Luke Charteris already play in the French Top 14, while prop Paul James is in his first season at Aviva Premiership club Bath.

'I had a lot of decisions to make, but I am glad I've got it sorted and this is the place I want to be to take my rugby career forward,' Cuthbert, 22, said.

'I did have some good offers from other clubs, but I wanted to stay with the Blues.

Dragon: Cuthbert has scored five tries in 13 Tests for Wales

Dragon: Cuthbert has scored five tries in 13 Tests for Wales

'I've certainly seen the progress on the pitch, although we may not be getting the results right now. We are just losing by narrow margins, and you can tell it's coming.

'Hopefully, we will get some quality players in next season and those close losses will turn into wins for us.'

Cuthbert scored tries against Scotland, Italy and France during last season's RBS 6 Nations title and Grand Slam-winning campaign, and he transferred that form into the recent autumn Tests, claiming a try against New Zealand.

Room for improvement: Cuthbert is only 22

Room for improvement: Cuthbert is only 22

Blues rugby director Phil Davies said: 'Alex is 22. He has a fantastic future ahead of him, not just at the Blues but in the game in general. He is a vital part of our squad.

'Alex is a great try-scorer, but he is still young and developing all the time.

'His work-rate is phenomenal and his defence and reading of the game is improving considerably. Hopefully, he will get better and better over the next three years.'

Wales team to play Australia at Millennium Stadium

Gatland shuffles pack as Wales look to make it lucky No 7 against Wallabies

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UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 29 November 2012

A wounded Wales team will face Australia with a reshuffled pack for the final clash of their autumn series.

They have made four changes to the side that were beaten convincingly by New Zealand last weekend. But with fourteen first-team players unavailable through either injury or absence, head coach Warren Gatland had his hand tied when it came to make big changes, despite his side falling to their sixth successive defeat against the All Blacks.

George North has failed to shrug off a hip injury picked up in training last week, and Bradley Davies is still suffering from the effects of severe concussion after he was struck off the ball by All Black Andrew Hore in the second minute on Saturday.

Well beaten: Wales have lost six in a row

Well beaten: Wales have lost six in a row

In the front row Blues prop Scott Andrews is handed his second Wales start and he is joined by former Blues colleague and 93-times capped veteran prop Gethin Jenkins, who has been granted permission to play by his French club Toulon.

Elsewhere Ospreys lock Ian Evans completes his return from injury (knee) to replace Bradley Davies and Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler replaces another Osprey, Ryan Jones, in the back row – with Jones retained on the bench.

The same backline which started against New Zealand last time out is selected, with Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar coming in for another player returning to his club, Perpignan’s James Hook, in one change to the backs cover provided by the bench.

Starting role: Jenkins (left) has been given permission by Toulon to play

Starting role: Jenkins (left) has been given permission by Toulon to play

Wales team to play Australia on Saturday:

Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts,
Liam Williams; Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew
Rees, Scott Andrews; Ian Evans, Luke Charteris; Aaron Shingler, Sam
Warburton (captain), Toby Faletau.

REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Ryan Bevington, Samson Lee, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Tavis Knoyle, Dan Biggar, Scott Williams.

'We need to pick up again where we left off in the second half last week,' said Gatland. 'We managed to retain 73 per cent possession after the break against the All Blacks and win the territory battle, and we need to put Australia under similar pressure from the outset.

'We have played them regularly over the last couple of years and have come close to winning on a number of occasions, but have not quite been able to get ourselves over the chalk of the finish line.

'Both sides have had injuries to cope with, but there is every reason for optimism. The Millennium Stadium crowd will be in full voice again, they were outstanding last week, and we are aiming to reach the end of a tough series on Saturday and finish off on a high.'

Cardiff Blues 14 Toulon 22: Jonny Wilkinson and Steffon Armitage star

Cardiff Blues 14 Toulon 22: Wilkinson and Armitage star for French favourites

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UPDATED:

14:35 GMT, 21 October 2012

Jonny Wilkinson kicked 17 points as Toulon made it two wins from two in Pool Six of the Heineken Cup with a bruising win over Cardiff Blues at the Arms' Park.

The Blues, playing their first European game at their traditional home since 2009, made a superb start when Leigh Halfpenny went over for the opening try inside two minutes.

The Welsh side's magnificent defence flustered the visitors, but their power eventually told.

Key man: Jonny Wilkinson kicked 17 points for Toulon

Key man: Jonny Wilkinson kicked 17 points for Toulon

Wilkinson kicked five penalties and converted man-of-the-match Steffon Armitage's try, meaning Halfpenny's three penalties were not even good enough for a losing bonus point for the Blues.

But the game's major talking point involved Armitage's brother Delon, who escaped without receiving a card for a high no-arms tackle on Blues' centre Gavin Evans during the first half.

The England full-back led with his shoulder and caught the Cardiff centre, who was stretchered off and sent to hospital for checks, on the head.

While Evans did stumble as he reached Armitage, who has had his fair share of disciplinary issues over the past two seasons, the Toulon man made no effort to wrap his arms around his opponent to complete a legal tackle and it was a surprise when referee George Clancy allowed him to remain on the field.

Flying start: Leigh Halfpenny crosses for Cardiff in the opening minutes

Flying start: Leigh Halfpenny crosses for Cardiff in the opening minutes

Prior to the controversy, Cardiff had made a perfect start through Halfpenny.

From a scrum on halfway, Alex Cuthbert came round to make the extra man and Ceri Sweeney's cut-out pass freed Tom James on the left. The wing kept his composure to feed inside to Halfpenny who crossed in the corner.

Wilkinson responded with a penalty after Toulon had made a mess of a Blues scrum, and another display of forward power, this time from a rolling maul, yielded a second three-pointer for the former England fly-half.

Wilkinson was off target with his third attempt before the game was held up as Evans was treated following his clash with Armitage.

High hopes: Delon Armitage takes a catch

High hopes: Delon Armitage takes a catch

Halfpenny missed the chance to put the hosts back in front while Wilkinson was off target with a drop goal effort as half-time neared.

But the Wales back did not make the same mistake when Toulon got over-eager at a ruck 40 metres out and gave the Blues a two-point lead at the break.

Wilkinson put Toulon back in front as he slotted his third penalty within two minutes of the resumption.

But Cardiff's tigerish defensive shift continued to throw the French side out of their stride, and another handling error allowed Lloyd Williams to send a kick downfield that ended with Halfpenny hauling down the retreating Matt Giteau to win a penalty, only for a slip to send the ball wide of the uprights.

On the ropes: Cardiff have lost their opening two games

On the ropes: Cardiff have lost their opening two games

Wilkinson punished the miss when wing David Smith won a penalty at a ruck 35 metres from the Cardiff posts, adding another three points to make it 12-8, only for Halfpenny to reply in kind with 18 minutes to play.

But Toulon landed the killer blow just two minutes later. Centres Mathieu Bastareaud and Giteau made inroads into the Blues' 22, and Steffon Armitage was the beneficiary as he forced his way over from close range, with Wilkinson adding the extras.

Halfpenny trimmed the gap, but Wilkinson's fifth and final penalty denied Cardiff a losing bonus point.

Sale 34 Cardiff 33: Danny Cipriani inspires Heineken Cup comeback

Sale 34 Cardiff 33: Cipriani comes off the bench to inspire stunning Sharks comeback

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 14 October 2012

Danny Cipriani was Sale's hero as the Premiership strugglers overturned a 27-12 deficit to gain a dramatic, morale-boosting triumph over Cardiff on their return to the Heineken Cup.

The Sharks were trailing by 15 points when Cipriani, making his way back from injury and illness, was introduced from the bench after 49 minutes and he scored one try and created another as Bryan Redpath's men went on to snatch a breathless victory.

Sale gained a 27-26 win over the Blues in their last Heineken Cup campaign at Edgeley Park three years ago and Redpath will be hoping the repeat victory – their first at the new Salford City Stadium – will kick-start their season after opening with six straight defeats.

Back in it: Sale celebrate after Danny Cipriani's (third right) try during the Heineken Cup Pool Six match

Back in it: Sale celebrate after Danny Cipriani's (third right) try during the Heineken Cup Pool Six match

Touching down: Former England back Cipriani scores for the Sharks at Salford City Stadium

Touching down: Former England back Cipriani scores for the Sharks at Salford City Stadium

Cardiff, who played all but five minutes of the match without Sam Warburton due to injury, were still leading 30-24 when they were reduced to 14 men with the sin-binning of replacement Lewis Jones seven minutes from the end.

And the extra man advantage proved crucial as former Munster prop Tony Buckley was driven over for the match-winning try a minute later, although the Sharks were hanging on in the end after Leigh Halfpenny's seventh goal from as many attempts had cut the gap to a solitary point.

The outcome was tough on Wales winger Alex Cuthbert, whose first-half hat-trick of tries looked to have put his side on their way to victory.

The Blues, who went into the game on the back of consecutive defeats in the RaboDirect PRO12, suffered an early blow Warburton went off after just five minutes with a dislocated finger.

Hat-trick: Alex Cuthbert scored three tries but was tackled by Rob Miller and Mark Jennings on this drive

Hat-trick: Alex Cuthbert scored three tries but was tackled by Rob Miller and Mark Jennings on this drive

The Wales captain, who was returning to the side from a hand injury, was in hospital as his team-mates established a 24-9 interval lead, largely due to the efforts of Cuthbert, the 22-year-old hero of Wales' Grand Slam-winning team of last season.

Last season's Cup quarter-finalists took the lead with a third-minute penalty, struck by Halfpenny from two metres inside his own half after Sale were pulled up for obstruction in a promising attacking position.

The incident summed up the Sharks' current problems, with confidence draining away through an inability to finish off promising moves.

Back rower Richie Vernon and Andy Powell were prominent as the home side established early territorial dominance but full-back Rob Miller fumbled centre Will Addison's pass with the line at his mercy while debutant right winger Mark Jennings failed to make the most of a touchline dash.

Crunch: Sale wing Mark Cueto (centre) is tackled by Andy Kyriacou

Crunch: Sale wing Mark Cueto (centre) is tackled by Andy Kyriacou

Sale drew level through the first of four first-half penalties from former Cardiff fly-half Nick Macleod but they quickly fell 17-3 behind after Cuthbert ran in two tries in a three-minute spell.

He was in support of a midfield break by centre Jamie Roberts to score his first on 15 minutes and, before Sale had time to recover, finished off a sweeping move involving Halfpenny and Ceri Sweeney for his second.

Two further penalties from Macleod kept the home side in touch but Cardiff hooker Marc Breeze punished their latest handling error by cutting a swathe through their fragile defence to get Cuthbert over for his hat-trick try on 36 minutes.

Winning moment: Rob Miller scores the crucial penalty kick for Sale to complete the comeback

Winning moment: Rob Miller scores a crucial penalty kick for Sale to complete the comeback

Macleod's fourth penalty on the stroke of half-time made it 24-12 but Halfpenny landed another long-range effort five minutes into the second half to restore his side's 15-point lead.

That was the signal for Redpath to send on Cipriani in a bid to revive their fortunes and within six minutes he had scored his first try for the club, taking a return pass from Addison.

That cut the deficit to 10 points but Miller, handed the goalkicking duties following the withdrawal of Macleod, was wide with the conversion attempt and Halfpenny demonstrated precision to land another long-range penalty to keep his side in the driving seat.

Pull your socks up: Mark Jennings dives over the line to score his debut try for the Sharks

Pull your socks up: Mark Jennings dives over the line to score his debut try for the Sharks

But Cipriani's long pass was gathered by replacement centre Johnny Leota, who got Jennings over for a debut try and Miller's first goal of the afternoon cut the gap to six points.

Then came the sin-binning of Jones and Sale grabbed their opportunity to produce a storming finish, much to the delight of the 5,853 crowd.

Australia 25 Wales 23: Wallabies snatch series victory with last-gasp penalty

Australia 25 Wales 23: Wallabies snatch series victory with last-ditch penalty

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UPDATED:

12:36 GMT, 16 June 2012

Substitute Mike Harris broke Welsh hearts with an injury-time penalty to snatch a dramatic win for Australia in Melbourne.

Wales appeared on course to keep the series alive with an historic first win over the Wallabies in Australia since 1969 as the faultless boot of Leigh Halfpenny kept the Grand Slam champions in front.

But with the clock in the red New Zealand referee Chris Pollock penalised Wales after Australia launched a powerful rolling maul and Harris showed nerves of steel to crush Welsh dreams.

Kicking king: Mike Harris of the Wallabies slots home the winning penalty goal

Kicking king: Mike Harris of the Wallabies slots home the winning penalty goal

Wales, accused of making a slow start last week, came flying out of the blocks with a series of powerful pick and drives.

Mike Phillips, Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert were all prominent in the build up as Wales roared into the Wallabies half before George North powered over from close range.

Halfpenny, who kicked all before him in Brisbane, maintained his 100 per cent record Down Under to stretch Wales' early lead to seven points.

Party time: Australia celebrate after recording their second victory over Wales

Party time: Australia celebrate after recording their second victory over Wales

Wales continued to dominate the early
exchanges but the Wallabies fought their way back into the encounter and
began to strangle the visitors of possession.

Berrick Barnes, who only rejoined the Wallabies squad four hours prior to kick-off following the birth of his first child, Archie, hit back for the hosts and added a second penalty on the half-hour mark to cut Wales' lead to one point.

Wales did themselves no favours and lost a succession of lineouts on their own throw as the pressure mounted.

Flying: Rob Horne of the Wallabies scores a try against Wales in Melbourne

Flying: Rob Horne of the Wallabies scores a try against Wales in Melbourne

They looked to have survived unscathed
after Phillips burst out of his own half with a trademark break. He
found Rhys Priestland in support but the fly-half was unable to release
Sam Warburton for the try.

Wales were penalised at the following
phase and after pouncing on loose ball from the ensuing lineout,
Phillips handed the Wallabies another opportunity to attack after his
box-kick went out on the full.

And the Tri-Nations champions took full advantage with Barnes beating Warburton on the outside and dummying past Ashley Beck to release Rob Horne for the crucial try.

Going nowhere: Australia's Digby Ioane (C) is tackled by Wales' Ashley Beck

Going nowhere: Australia's Digby Ioane (C) is tackled by Wales' Ashley Beck

Barnes added the extras on the stroke of half-time as Wales entered the interval trailing 13-7.

But the Dragons again started the half
firing and an uncharacteristic mistake from last week's Wallaby hero
Will Genia gave the opportunity to score.

The livewire scrum-half threw an
aimless pass which was hacked through by Beck and Jonathan Davies beat
Rob Simmons in the foot race to score.

Halfpenny expertly slotted the conversion to regain the lead, and the full-back exchanged penalties with Barnes as Wales kept their noses in front.

False dawn: Wales' Jonathan Davies scores a try against Australia

False dawn: Wales' Jonathan Davies scores a try against Australia

Barmes knocked over another penalty
but Australia were dealt a blow when Cooper Vuna was sent to the sin-bin
after a clumsy challenge on Halfpenny in the air.

The diminutive full-back came crashing
down to earth but got straight back to his feet and slotted a monster
penalty to regain the slender lead.

Barnes hit-back after Bradley Davies
was penalised at the break down but Halfpenny was again on target after
the Welsh pack flexed its muscle at scrum time.

Wales continued to dominate the battle up front but they fell foul of the scrum lottery and Barnes stepped up to slot the simple penalty.

Chance: Wales' Alex Cuthbert (left) and George North (right) congratulate Jonathan Davies

Chance: Wales' Alex Cuthbert (left) and George North (right) congratulate Jonathan Davies

But amazingly the fly-half, who
appeared to be carrying a knock, pushed his effort wide and quickly
departed to be replaced by Harris.

Australia frantically hammered at Wales but Rob Howley's men held strong as mistakes creeped into the Wallabies game.

But Wales were penalised with the
clock ticking and Australia kicked to the corner. They launched a
rolling maul and Wales were penalised, with New Zealand-born fly-half
Harris writing his name in Wallaby history.

In his wake: Wales' Mike Phillips avoids a tackle during the defeat to Australia

In his wake: Wales' Mike Phillips avoids a tackle during the defeat to Australia

Harry Robinson"s idol threat with Shane Williams set to line up for Barbarians against Wales

Robinson's idol threat with Williams set to line up for Barbarians against Wales

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 30 May 2012

Facing the mighty Shane Williams on his final waltz at the Millennium Stadium is not the easiest way to begin your international career.

Thankfully for Wales and Cardiff winger Harry Robinson, keeping a close eye on his hero will be nothing new when he faces the Barbarians on Saturday, with seats on the plane to Australia at stake.

Robinson is 5ft 10in, just shy of 13 stone and has gunpowder in his boots.

Debut: Harry Robinson

Debut: Harry Robinson

He is no giant like George North or Alex Cuthbert but, like Williams, has proved you do not need to be a monster in this Wales back line, you just need a blistering turn of pace and a knack of finding a way round rather than through.

Robinson said: ‘I’m glad I got to play against Shane in an Ospreys shirt first. I think if I was playing him for the first time in an international I’d be petrified. But I know what to expect — the unexpected.

'He was a role model for me because I’ve never been a big guy playing rugby. I’ve always looked up to players with a similar stature like Shane. I try to play like him — stepping away from tackles. Not like George and Alex, who run through. He’s been an inspiration.’

Scarlets full-back Liam Williams and prop Rhodri Jones have also been handed first Test match appearances by caretaker coach Rob Howley, together with 19-year-old Robinson.

WALES TEAM

Liam Williams; Robinson, Bishop, Hook, Brew; Biggar, Lloyd Williams;
Gill, Matthew Rees (capt), Rhodri Jones, AW Jones, Evans, Turnbull, Ryan
Jones, Tipuric. Substitutes: Hibbard, James, Shingler, M Williams,
Webb, Warren, Harries.

Robinson's Blues colleague Martyn Williams, meanwhile, remains on course to win his 100th cap after being included among the replacements.

Williams is set to join Welsh centurions Stephen Jones and Gareth Thomas by reaching the three-figure landmark.

Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees will captain a Wales side that includes a number of fellow Grand Slam and RBS 6 Nations winners this season such as locks Alun-Wyn Jones and Ian Evans, plus number eight Ryan Jones.

And there are returns to the Test arena for Ospreys centre Andrew Bishop and fly-half Dan Biggar, who both played key roles in last Sunday's RaboDirect PRO12 title-clinching victory over European champions Leinster in Dublin.

Williams apart, the bench also includes uncapped Scarlets centre Adam Warren for Wales' final game before embarking on a three-Test tour to Australia.

Ton up: Martyn Williams is set to earn his 100th cap

Ton up: Martyn Williams is set to earn his 100th cap

A group of players are set to leave for Australia tomorrow with assistant coach and defence specialist Shaun Edwards. That list includes star names such as Sam Warburton, Mike Phillips, George North, Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau.

They will step up preparations for the first Test in Brisbane, with the remaining tour squad members arriving Down Under next Monday.

'We have picked a side on form, with an eye on bringing players through for the future, but very much with the intention of getting the summer campaign off to a winning start,' Howley said.

'We have an opportunity against the Barbarians to get an important summer series off to a winning start.

'We have momentum from the Six Nations, and the Ospreys have added to that with a great win in our domestic competition.

'We are now looking for the next step and a victory on home soil against a formidable Barbarians team before we set off for Australia.'

Six Nations 2012: Dan Lydiate named player of the tournament

Dan the man! Wales star Lydiate named best player of Six Nations

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UPDATED:

12:04 GMT, 21 March 2012

Flanker Dan Lydiate has been named RBS 6 Nations Player of the Championship for 2012 after his outstanding displays in Wales' Grand Slam triumph.

The Newport Gwent Dragons blindside missed the opening win over Ireland in Dublin but returned with a man-of-the-match display in the win over Scotland, before following that up with another Herculean effort in the championship-clinching victory over France last weekend.

The 23-year-old beat Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton to top spot after securing over 25 per cent of the public vote which attracted over 30,000 votes. Italy's captain Sergio Parisse was third.

Star man: Dan Lydiate was voted the best player of the Six Nations

Star man: Dan Lydiate was voted the best player of the Six Nations

The 12-man shortlist for the award, which was won by Italy's Andrea Masi last year and is made up of players who receive man-of-the-match awards during the tournament, was dominated by members of the triumphant Welsh squad, with Sam Warburton, Mike Phillips and Alex Cuthbert joining Lydiate among the nominees.

Close: Jonathan Sexton was second in the poll

Close: Jonathan Sexton was second in the poll

Lydiate's achievement matches those of Martyn Williams and Shane Williams, who won the award in Wales' previous Grand Slam seasons in 2005 and 2008.

'I am really surprised to be honest. I am genuinely chuffed to bits,' said Lydiate.

'It tops off an amazing competition for me and for Wales.

'To
be part of such a talented Wales team and win the Grand Slam in Cardiff
on Saturday was incredible in itself but to then be voted player of the
championship is absolutely unbelievable.

'It
is a massive honour to win, especially given the quality of the other
players up for the award. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, it means a
lot.'

Six Nations 2012: Alex Cuthbert reveals 19,000 wages… per year!

Wales hero Cuthbert reveals 19,000 wages… and that's per year, not week!

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 19 March 2012

Wales' try-hero Alex Cuthbert is in line for a huge pay-rise after his Six Nations heroics, but few would have imagined the 21-year-old is currently earning just 19,000 PER YEAR!

Many young footballers of similar age are already multi-millionaires, but not Cuthbert who drives a Renault Clio and lives in student accommodation.

His basic salary at Cardiff Blues is a paltry 5,000 per annum which is supplemented by the Welsh Rugby Union because of a contract with the sevens side by an extra 14,000.

Cashing in: Cuthbert is in line for a mush deserved pay rise

Cashing in: Cuthbert is in line for a mush deserved pay rise

But that all looks set to change after his emergence after his profile exploded during the successful Six Nations campaign.

Cuthbert will immediately receive 90,000 from his appearance fees and Grand Slam bonus and then he will enter contract negotiations with the Blues.

His new deal could be worth up to 100,000-per-year and that's before any he signs up for any endorsements.

Cuthbert was born and raised in Gloucester, but qualifies through his Welsh mother, Caroline, said: 'It's crazy how much everything has changed in such a short time.

'I could never have thought I would be scoring the winning try in a Grand Slam game six months ago. I was just expecting to train with the Blues' seniors.

Over the line: Cuthbert scored a vital try for Wales against France

Over the line: Cuthbert scored a vital try for Wales against France

Over the line: Cuthbert scored a vital try for Wales against France

'In terms of money and contracts it is life-changing. I will have to pay off my student loan and maybe try to buy a house.'

With the impressive Grand Slam success under their belt, the young Wales stars are looking to the future, but Cuthbert believes they have a large amount of work still to do.

'There is still a huge amount of development and learning to come from both the team and, of course, myself. Being in the Welsh environment has already upped my game, playing with world-class players like George (North).

'I do look up to George – even though he is only 19. We are still so young, as are many of the boys. As the years go by, we can only get better.'

The future's bright: Wales' young side delivered the Grand Slam in style

The future's bright: Wales' young side delivered the Grand Slam in style

Dan Lydiate dedicates Wales" Grand Slam victory to Mervyn Davies

Lydiate dedicates Wales' Grand Slam victory to legendary captain Davies

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 17 March 2012

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate dedicated their Grand Slam victory to Mervyn Davies.

Wales made if five wins out of five in the RBS 6 Nations with a 16-9 victory over France in Cardiff.

A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Davies, the 1976 Grand Slam captain, who died on Thursday at the age of 65 after a long illness.

Moving tribute: Former Wales captain Mervyn Davies was remembered before the game at the Millennium Stadium

Moving tribute: Former Wales captain Mervyn Davies was remembered before the game at the Millennium Stadium

'He was a legend of the game, our thoughts go this family, this one's for him,' man-of-the-match Lydiate said.

Alex Cuthbert scored the only try of the match in the first half, while Leigh Halfpenny added the conversion and three penalties to seal the win.

Lydiate added: 'We're just over the moon to be honest. The boys put their body on the line, you have to do that to win a Grand Slam. We're quite a young team so this is the first chance for a lot of us to win anything, we're over the moon.'

Welsh wonder: Alex Cuthbert slides over to score the opening try

Welsh wonder: Alex Cuthbert slides over to score the opening try

Captain Sam Warburton, who went off with a shoulder injury, said: 'You've got to give a lot of credit to the French, they made it very tough for us.But we won at the end of the day and that's what counts.'

Jamie Roberts also admitted it was an emotional success.

He said: 'It's a pretty special feeling, just one of those games when you have to dig deep, it wasn't pretty. We spoke in the week it was going to be emotional with the passing of Merv.'

Wales were knocked out of the World Cup in New Zealand last autumn by France and Gethin Jenkins was pleased to turn the tables in Cardiff.

Champagne moment: Wales players celebrate after winning the Grand Slam

Champagne moment: Wales players celebrate after winning the Grand Slam

'We knew they were going to be good, they've played well all championship,' he said.

'The occasion didn't get to us as much as they would have hoped. The coach (Warren Gatland) has given us freedom to go out and play.

'The World Cup brought us tighter and losing to France spurred us on to get some revenge.'

On the money: Leigh Halfpenny kicks a penalty goal against France

On the money: Leigh Halfpenny kicks a penalty goal against France

Matthew Rees won his 50th cap against the French, having fought back from a calf injury to play his part in the campaign.

'I've worked so hard to get back,' he said. 'My second Grand Slam, 50th cap, I think I'll be doing some partying tonight.

'It was frustrating for me with the calf injury, for me personally it was just about getting myself back fit and being part of a successful team.

On the run: Cuthbert is tackled by Aurelien Rougerie of France

On the run: Cuthbert is tackled by Aurelien Rougerie of France

'We're still a young side, there's plenty still to achieve and we're looking forward to the World Cup in 2015.'

Cuthbert added: 'I thought we deserved it more than France. The feeling I'm feeling now I don't think I'll ever feel again.'

Slam dunk: Wales prop Gethin Jenkins celebrates on the final whistle after winning the Grand Slam

Slam dunk: Wales prop Gethin Jenkins celebrates on the final whistle after winning the Grand Slam

Welsh kings: Gethin Jenkins, Ryan Jones and Adam Jones with the trophy

Welsh kings: Gethin Jenkins, Ryan Jones and Adam Jones with the trophy