George Earle has pinpointed the influence of Danny Wilson as the main reason for his move to Cardiff Blues.
The physical, South African-born second-row moved east along the M4 following three seasons with the Scarlets and linked up with Wales’ Capital Region last month.
Wilson, who recently added a year to his existing contract, worked with Earle during his time in west Wales and left a lasting impression, something that has transferred to pre-season
Now the 29-year-old is looking forward to forming as dominant a pack as possible under the former Wales Under-20s coach.
Earle said: “Pre-season been well planned and it’s good to be in an environment where everything is thought out and has a purpose.
“It’s been really enjoyable. You can easily learn a lot here – there are very good coaches and structures.
“It’s been a really good transition for me. I have worked with Danny previously so I was expecting something like this, a structured and professional environment. It’s a good change for me and I feel very positive going forward.
“Danny has always brought the best out of me, he’s really honest - which is one thing you need as a rugby player because that improves you - attention to detail and he’s a good person and man, the type of person you want to play for.
“One of his main strengths is the technical side of things, he can transform any pack into a really dominant one. That’s the main thing I enjoy about rugby, having a good forward pack and dominating guys.
“I’m fit and ready to go, last year was frustrating one but I feel refreshed and hungry for a good couple of seasons.”
Earle watched from afar as Wilson’s men steadily progressed last season, winning 10 of their final 14 Guinness PRO12 matches.
They agonisingly missed out on a place in the top six but that has to be the minimum targeted befitting the Blues, according to Earle.
He added: “The progress was pleasing to see last year and knowing the coaches, players and facilities at the Blues, I always knew it would happen. A region like this, in the capital city should be the best in Wales.
“A finish in the top six has to be the target, when I first came to Wales I remember watching Cardiff Blues beat Toulon and that shows we have a big say in Europe and need to be back in the top competition.”