Seb Davies hopes Cardiff Blues can thrive on the open BT Murrayfield pitch during Saturday' Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh.
The 21-year-old lock featured in Warren Gatland’s NatWest 6 Nations squad, appearing from the bench in the fourth round encounter against Italy at Principality Stadium.
Davies believes the Blues’ attacking game-plan could flourish at the Scottish national stadium, but insists his side must be aware of Edinburgh’s strength at the set-piece and breakdown.
“It’s a wide pitch, so hopefully we will be able to make use of that space and put our backs away,” said Davies.
“I’ve never played at Murrayfield before but even as an away side you’re hoping that it will be full there and we’ll have a good atmosphere. I’m sure the travelling support will be there in all voice.
“The confidence is really high within the squad at the moment. The boys can go out to play with freedom and a smile on their faces. I think that’s reflected in the recent performances and hopefully we’ll be able to maintain that come Saturday.
“They beat us earlier in the season, so we feel that we owe them. We hope the weather will remain dry and we can produce the performance we’re capable of.
"Under Richard Cockerill, they’re strong at contesting the breakdown and are a very gritty team who also try to get under your skin and distract you from your game.
“They’re in your face and are also set-piece orientated, so we’ll have to look to take that aspect away from them.”
It’s been a whirlwind 12-months for the former Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf pupil, who made a surprise debut for Wales during last summer’s tour to the Pacific Islands.
Davies has since become a key member in Danny Wilson’s pack, signing a professional contract with the region earlier this season, and the young lock sees Saturday’s quarter-final as another exciting opportunity to progress and develop.
Davies said: “The season on a whole has been going well, and we’re on this five-match winning streak now, but we’ll have to focus on the trip to South Africa immediately after Saturday’s game.
“We’re hoping to secure a home semi-final, which would be massive to be back playing at the Arms Park this season.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity personally, if I’m picked, and I need to make sure I do my job, perform at Murrayfield and hopefully enjoy the experience.
“It’s been good to join up with the squad again after the Six Nations. We’ve gone back into the deep end immediately, but we’re comfortable with the systems so have had no problems with that.
“I’m probably a little bit more confident from the experience with the national squad. Of course, there’s a bit of added pressure when you’re up there, but they allow you to play to your own strengths.
“I’ve enjoyed working with players like George Earle this season, and have enjoyed playing alongside the other locks as well. Everyone who is called into the side have stepped up, performed and contributed to the side.
"The likes of myself, Josh Turnbull and Macauley Cook can play across the back-five so we can swap and change to suit the game and the situation.”