This weekend the Cardiff Blues return to LV=Cup action as they travel to Coventry to face ex Blues head coach, Dai Youngs' team, Wasps (Sunday 1st February, 2pm KO).
Cardiff Blues opened the LV=Cup campaign with two tense victories over Newcastle Falcons and Scarlets in November and are now looking forward to continuing this momentum.
The results were all the more pleasing as Blues selected teams with a real mix of fringe first team players eager to impress and Academy prospects determined to make the step up.
Richard Hodges, Elite Performance Pathway Manager at the Blues has revealed Blues will look for a similar mix this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena.
“We have real confidence going into this weekend. What has been really pleasing is over the last few weeks there has been a stream of boys knocking on the door asking to be part of the LV team and that is down to the hard work of the group who took part in the first few rounds,” said Hodges.
“To go up to Newcastle and get that win against all the odds surprised a lot of people. There is a huge amount of talent in this region and a lot of boys want to be part of this region going forward.
“The Scarlets’ game at home was a question of picking up where we had left off. It was a very close game and we had a captain’s performance from Ellis Jenkins that got us through the round.
“Youngsters benefit from a win. A winning environment is an easier place to go to work the following week and puts smiles on faces and brings in an air of positivity.
Speaking about the opponents Richard Hodges said, “Wasps are a very impressive side, Dai changed his whole structure there a year ago and brought in a different group of staff.
“We played against them in the summer and drew at academy level at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, so we have a fair amount of information on those boys.
“All the English sides are strong at academy level. You only need to look at what they produce at national age grade to see that.
“They have won one and lost one in the LV so it is a must win for them in order to get through to the next stage.
“The competition dictates that it is very difficult to qualify if you do get turned over once. We are two out of two, if we don’t get the win this weekend it will be tough to get through.
“We have to get the win on Sunday.”