Olly Robinson insists Cardiff Blues are continually striving to improve, following last season's European Challenge Cup triumph.
John Mulvihill are preparing to return to the top tier of European rugby for the first time in five season, where they will face Glasgow Warriors, Lyon and Saracens.
Robinson, who captained Wales’ Capital Region in pre-season friendlies against Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs, is excited by the challenge of climbing the Guinness PRO14 table, as his side are set to welcome defending champions, Leinster, to the Arms Park on the opening day of the championship.
“It’s a new season, it’s a new group of people, and we’re not looking to repeat what we did last season,” said Robinson.
“We’re looking to better that, we’re looking to be better in the PRO14 and constantly improve.
“We spoke in the changing rooms that we’ve got a lot out of the two pre-season games and it’s about making sure that we’re in the best possible place, going into the Leinster match.
“It’s really exciting to have the European champions coming down to play against us, and what better way to start the season?”
Despite an encouraging first half display from the visitors, a strong Exeter side sealed a 38-10 over the Blues at Sandy Park on Saturday.
However, Robinson remains positive about the signs shown by his side over the past fortnight - highlighting the importance of performances, rather than results, during pre-season, as the competitive fixtures edge ever-closer.
Robinson said: “You can be involved in the best pre-seasons in the world, and then go on to lose eight games in a row. The results are irrelevant.
“Of course, it’s always nice to win, but we saw a good performance out there.
“There is a lot we can take from that as positives, and stuff we can improve on. It’s about when we play, and when we don’t play.
“Exeter showed how they keep hold of the ball very well, and that might not work for other teams.
“It’s about where we play, where we might kick the ball more and where we can pull the trigger to attack and score some tries.”
“Exeter will realise that they were in a game, even if the scoreline suggests otherwise.
“At 17-10, we had just kicked a penalty, and if we come back to the other end and score, it’s a completely different game. They’re the small margins that happen in rugby.
“It’s a pre-season game, and these things happen. If you asked them what happened in a pre-season game a couple of years ago, I’m not sure they would be able to tell you. It’s all about going out there and playing some rugby.
“We saw some good stuff against a very physical Exeter side that showed what happens when you keep hold of the ball, but we have to learn to be better at winning it back and keeping hold of it.”
Champions collide in the Welsh capital, as Cardiff Blues host Leinster for the opening Guinness PRO14 clash of the campaign on Friday, August 31. Make sure you've got the hottest ticket in town NOW!