Boxing Day may be a day for snoozing off the Christmas Day turkey but there was no want of energy in Wales as two Welsh derbies in the Guinness PRO14 saw several players press their Guinness Six Nations claims.
The day kicked off at Cardiff Arms Park where the home side continued their impressive run to make it four straight wins with victory over Dragons 16-12 in a hard-fought encounter.
There were plenty of standout men, too, despite the contest being a low-scoring one.
Blues fly-half Jarrod Evans missed out on Rugby World Cup selection but did his hopes of catching the eye of new boss Wayne Pivac no harm at all as he set up Shane Lewis-Hughes’ opening try by charging his way through the Dragons defence.
Not only that but he gained 34 metres and was a dynamic creative force with 20 passes, the only blemish on his copybook coming when he went off with an injury he will hope is only minor before the end of the contest.
His club teammate Josh Adams did go to Japan, and starred with a tournament-high seven tries, and his impressive form continued as he sliced through Dragons’ XV with ease time and again.
Adams, who scored a try in three consecutive Guinness Six Nations games in 2019, gained a mammoth 76 metres (second only to fellow countryman Owen Lane) as he laid down a marker ahead of Wales’ defence of their Grand Slam crown.
The man of the match at Cardiff Arms Park was not on the winning side, though, as Taine Basham’s massive impact gained recognition.
The 20-year-old flanker has yet to make his international debut but he showed just how much youthful potential Pivac has at his disposal should he call on it in scoring one try and setting up another.
Later in the day it was the turn of Scarlets and Ospreys to clash, and the result was much more one-sided at Parc Y Scarlets.
The home side completely dominated, running in six tries without conceding a single point in a 44-0 victory.
Angus O’Brien is another of Wales’ overflowing crop of talent yet to receive a call-up and he was named man of the match after pulling the strings against their rivals.
Two men crossed twice for the hosts in Ryan Conbeer and Steff Evans, filling their boots on a successful Boxing Day full of cheer for Scarlets.
Conbeer is, like Basham, only 20 but the signs are he could very well have an international career ahead of him after the wing showed he dangerous and mature he already is.
Evans, on the other hand, has already made the step up to international but, like his namesake Jarrod, was unlucky to miss out on the trip to Japan and is taking that in his stride as he pushes for a role in rugby’s greatest championship next February.
Evans scored two tries in four appearances during last year’s Guinness Six Nations and he showed how with another display of his creativity and energy over in Llanelli.