Gareth Cooper wants to ensure he hits the ground running with new employers Cardiff Blues next season by excelling on tour in Canada and the USA.
And, as he seeks to impress his new coaches at the Blues, he will come up against one who influenced his early career in the form of current high performance director for Canadian rugby Geraint John.
John coached Cooper during a Wales development tour to North America in 2000 so the former Gloucester scrum-half knows just what to expect from the Cannucks.
"Geraint was in charge of Wales when we toured here in 2000, we played five matches and I think he pretty much started me in all of them so I owe him a lot," said Cooper.
"Richard Smith and Ryan Powell were the other scrum-halves on the tour and Dwayne Peel was a late call-up. At that time Rob Howley was the first choice for Wales, but the tour was great learning experience for myself and the likes of Dwayne, Deiniol and Mark Jones and a young Shane Williams."
Cooper insists he didn't think twice about joining the Blues next season where he will be coached by David Young and former Canada star Dan Baugh and says his career will be revitalised by the switch.
"Dan has called me and warned me I'm going to be in for a tough pre-season whatever happens out here on tour, but I'm keen to kick-on and start this new and exciting stage of my career right now," said Cooper.
"When I found out the Blues were interested in me, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to make the switch. There was no debate about it and I'm really looking forward to it now. It was always part of my plan to come back to Wales and the Blues are the epitome of what a player wants in a rugby club.
"When I left the Dragons I was at the stage where I was looking for a new challenge, Each of the other regions had strong cover at scrum-half with Justin Marshall at the Ospreys, Mike Phillips was still at the Blues and Dwayne (Peel) was at the Scarlets.
"I was looking for a club where I could establish myself and be first choice and Gloucester worked out for me. I was the incumbent in the Wales side before I got injured this year and it was a great feeling to be back and now I want to take my chance again. I've got an opportunity to hit the ground running when I pick up at the Blues and that's my aim now on this tour."
Cardiff Blues are pleased to announce Cardiff and Vale College as the new education partner for the region's BTEC Extended Diploma in Rugby Development, Coaching and Fitness, delivered in conjunction with TVS Education.
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