John Mulvihill has praised his Cardiff Blues squad for the condition they have returned to the Arms Park for pre-season training.
Following a five-week summer break, Wales’ Capital Region came into camp for testing last week before pre-season proper kicked-off on Monday.
And Mulvihill, who is now entering his second season at the helm, has been hugely impressed with the dedication of his players.
He said: “All of the coaching staff have been really impressed with how the boys have come in to pre-season.
“We were lucky enough to have a talk from Tim Gabbett at the end of last year. The WRU had him over here to speak to coaches and he came in and spoke to our group about returning in good shape to be ready to go for pre-season.
“The boys really listened to what he had to say, and we have really improved from where we were last year.
“For instance, there’s no fat club at the moment, that could develop over the next few months but currently there’s no one in there, we only have two injuries and then boys returning through their rehab, so we should have a pretty much fully fit squad come the start of the season.
“We’re happy they’ve turned up in good shape and that makes it easier for us to get really stuck into rugby and the contact area.”
Pre-season has taken a different shape this season with the switch from the Vale Resort training base to Cardiff Arms Park.
A significant amount of work has taken place at the Blues iconic home to ensure all of the necessary, first-class facilities are in place.
The first-team squad will also have exclusive use of the Sport Wales National Centre rugby pitch throughout the season, while other venues such as the Hangar Human Performance Centre and Pontcanna Fields are also utilised during pre-season.
Mulvihill added: “We spoke this morning to the whole squad about how impressed we are with how they have arrived here and embraced the change.
“The Arms Park staff, both the admin and the guys that look after the stadium, have worked tirelessly over the last three weeks to provide us with a world class venue.
“Our medical centre is probably the best in Wales and is something we now have long term, we have a proper team room that doesn’t double up as a kitchen, it’s a space where they can relax and recover, we have a fully fitted kitchen, Sophia Gardens coming online later this month with exclusive use, and we’re also using Pontcanna Fields and Cardiff Uni this week. With that we have a great opportunity to embrace the community and celebrate what we have here.”