I would like to welcome all our supporters back to the Arms Park after such a long break and also all those involved with the Glasgow Warriors for tonight's Magners League match.
The break is never as productive as we would like it to be. A lot of the players have been carrying bumps and bruises and are rested while others may have minor injuries sorted.
The players, however, have worked really hard on conditioning although from a rugby viewpoint we would have liked more training and matches. We've tried to arrange a friendly match but because of the weather many teams had to rearrange games, and because of the internationals a lot of the A team games haven't been played in England.
I think the four-week break is too long. We had some high intensity and high quality performances in January and a week would have been good to recharge everyone batteries.
Coming out of the breaks we are pretty slow starters and we have to make sure we hit the ground running because we need to be pick up points in the Magners League.
I have a huge amount of respect for the way our opponents play the game - they gave us a good hiding up there and deserved the win. A few eyebrows were raised with that result but they've shown with the win out in Toulouse and the performances against Bath, what a quality side they are.
Having said that, I think we will have enough quality on the pitch to win the game and I always expect us to win our home games. We will go into the match with the mindset knowing that we will have to play at our best. Although, both teams maybe missing some international players, I think both squads will have enough class to play a high quality game.
Finally, I would like to extend my congratulations to everybody involved with the Blues North Under 16s on winning the cup this season. It's great to see them with some silverware.
I think people sometimes underestimate how hard our development structure works. A lot of good works goes into the under 16s North and South and also the Under 18s and 20s.
Many people give up their free time to put in the hard work and perhaps they don't get the credit they deserve for unearthing the next Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny or Bradley Davies.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
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