Nine Cardiff Blues players are away representing their country in the 6 Nations, while the majority of the squad have been enjoying a well earned break, however four of the players have been busy building up their strength ready to return to action for the Blues as they challenge for the Magners League and EDF Energy Cup.
Gruelling hill runs at Castell Coch under the watchful eye of Conditioning Coach, Trystan Bevan have tested the fitness of Andy Powell, Rhys Williams, Robin Sowden Taylor and Tom Riley.
Having suffered a severe ankle dislocation and break in the away match against the Ospreys in only the second Magners League match of the season, Robin is looking forward to getting back on the playing field:
Its obviously good to be back in full training and doing the hill runs with the boys, and Im feeling good.
The ankle held up well and I had my last check up with the specialist just to make sure everything is right so hopefully everything will be ok.
Id like to get back in to full action and as soon as the other players return from leave Ill be taking part in full contact rugby sessions and hopefully Ill be fit for the next round of games.
The aim is to be back in contention for the Munster match at the beginning of March. It should be a big month for us with the EDF Energy Cup semi finals.
Its great for the boys as its been a while since weve been in the last stages of a competition, and fingers crossed we will have all the boys fit and ready to go. Theres certainly going to be a good fight within the squad to be in the starting line up.
Rhys Williams is also aiming to be back in March having ripped the muscle from his hip while playing against Ulster in Belfast.
The recovery is going well. Ive just started running last week so everything is on course. said Rhys.
The doctors are happy with the progress and its just a matter of building the strength and endurance back in to the leg.
The hill runs are a difficult way to start doing that but they are good for leg drive and therefore good for the hip. Its just nice to be running again and working hard to get fit.
My target for returning to play is the beginning of March and Im on course for that. As long as everything goes well and the doctors and physio are happy and Im satisfied with the recovery I can put myself forward for selection.
Rhys who has been at the Arms Park for nearly 10 years is anticipating a tough match for the Blues when they take on the Ospreys in the semis of the EDF Cup.
The boys have done a good job in the first half of the season but now we are coming to the business end of the season we need to consolidate our position in the league and improve it.
Theres also a big semi final game against the Ospreys which is a huge match for us and everyone in the region is looking forward to. It will be a tough match against a quality team but if we can 26,000 supporters in the Millennium Stadium the way we did against Leicester it will be a real boost to the boys
The Blues are leading the way with ticket sales for the EDF Cup semi final on Saturday 24 March. Tickets are available by calling the Cardiff Blues Ticket Office on 029 2030 2030 or to buy online at
Junior clubs and schools can earn cash back for group bookings for this match. A number of Junior Clubs and Schools within the Cardiff Blues region have already signed up to the new Community Cash-back Scheme which offers £2.50 back to the clubs and schools who purchase tickets for 10 or more people to Cardiff Blues matches.