I would like to welcome all our supporter's to the Arms Park this Sunday afternoon for this special occasion and also thank you all for the tremendous support we have had this season.
It has really lifted the team seeing so many people getting behind them and hopefully we have rewarded the loyalty of the fans with some great matches this year.
The goal at the start of the season was to win some silverware so I'm delighted that we've done that. I think we've shown year on year how much we've improved and even our harshest critics couldn't deny that.
Until we put the flag in the ground and won something, we would always have the doubters and the stone throwers. Now we have a trophy, I feel the monkey is off our back, and in fairness the boys they thoroughly deserved the praise that came their way.
The Heineken Cup was also memorable and we must be the only team that's gone out of the competition unbeaten. What we want to do next season is come back bigger and stronger, and that has to be the task for us. We're certainly not going to sneak up on anybody next year. We've put ourselves up there for people to shoot us down.
At the end of the day it was important that we won something, but also to show that getting to the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup wasn't a one off. We've demonstrated that we are a quality team, but as well as that, we've shown that when our Lions or Internationals aren't playing we can go to places like Ulster and win, which I think is equally important as winning trophies. That was one our major goals at the start of the season, that we develop a squad not just a fifteen or a twenty two.
I think the biggest memory I have of the Arms Park is beating Bath here in the Heineken Cup. It was an eerie, foggy night and I remember Nigel Walker sprinting down the wing. We all have fond memories of the place and the ground has been a second home to a lot of us for a number of years. It's sad that we are leaving but it is progress, and another door opens as we move to a new stadium. We are excited to be moving but there is also a bit of sadness leaving the old ground.
I'm fortunate to have played most of my career here at the Arms Park and it will be great to see so many familiar faces here for the post match celebration.
Tickets are on sale NOW for our huge opening Guinness Pro 12 fixture of the season against Glasgow Warriors - and we've frozen match ticket prices this season so watching top-class rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park is affordable to all!
Impressive Cardiff Blues pushed English powerhouse side Leicester Tigers all the way with an hugely encouraging performance as final preparations for the new Guinness PRO12 season continued at Welford Road.