Josh Navidi has called on Cardiff Blues to continue building on their impressive form in the heat of a Welsh derby against the Scarlets.
Following back-to-back victories over Lyon and Toulouse in the European Challenge Cup, the Blues return to Guinness PRO14 action having won four of their last five encounters.
Navidi knows facing the reigning champions on their home patch is a daunting challenge but it is one he is relishing following the historic win in Toulouse.
He said: “In the changing rooms afterwards the boys were buzzing – a win out there doesn’t come around that often.
“I remember a few years ago when we won out in France with Richie Rees and a couple of the other boys playing. When they came back to base you could see the attitude and drive, it changed the persona in the environment.
“We have built through with a good couple of wins and now it is about backing it up against the Scarlets.
“It’s a tough place to go bit it’s one you have to get on with. It’s a local derby and there’s always an edge around it – the boys are looking forward to it and I’m sure as we get closer there will be more pressure building.”
There are a number of players on both teams with experience of player for the other and Navidi is looking forward to a showdown with former Cardiff Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell.
He continues: “Obviously playing with him for a number of years here, we know him well. He’s changed a bit as a player and he’s gone well down there and as a back-row you always have a focus on the opposition’s 9s and 10s.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there and bumping noses.”
Following the Parc y Scarlets encounter, Navidi will turn his attention to international affairs, having been selected in Warren Gatland’s autumn squad.
The versatile forward was thrilled to be included but insists his sole focus is on the Blues and securing another victory.
Navidi added: “I had a decent summer and it’s nice to be named in the squad again. It was an honour in the summer but I wasn’t expecting anything.
“I just do my part on the pitch and try to put my hand up but getting the email and being named in the squad is a proud moment for me and my family.
“I’m looking forward to it but we have a more important game on the weekend against the Scarlets and that’s my main focus at the minute.”