Garyn Smith took centre-stage in Cardiff Blues' bonus-point victory over Lyon and he has credited the competition for places for his red-hot form.
The centre scooped the Heineken man-of-the-match award for his exploits in the European Challenge Cup opener at Cardiff Arms Park. Smith had a hand in two of the Blues’ four tries and cut a succession of razor-sharp lines.
Danny Wilson’s men take on Toulouse in round two and Smith is determined to do everything he can to retain a starting spot but knows competition for a centre spot remains fierce.
He said: “I enjoyed playing out there and was grateful to get the opportunity to show what I can do and put my and up.
“We have great centres with Willis (Halaholo) and Rey (Lee-Lo), Shings (Steve Shingler) as well but I’m happy to put a performance in and I’m enjoying my rugby this season.
“Unfortunately for Jack (Roberts) he picked up an injury against Munster but we are all pushing each other hard in training and are looking to get that starting XV.
“It is improving our training sessions, pushing us and improving each other and that makes the team better.
“I saw Toulouse went full hit against Sale but I’m just looking at it one game at a time. I’ll go back into training on Monday, we have great centres with Willis, Rey and I just have to put my hand up.”
Smith was one of 13 players in Friday’s match-day squad to have come through Cardiff Blues’ regional pathway.
And while the likes of Keiron Assiratti, Dillon Lewis and Corey Domachowski have earned plenty of plaudits in the pack this season, it was Smith, Jarrod Evans and Tomos Williams that lit up the Arms Park up against Lyon.
He added: “I grew up with Jarrod through the age-grades since I was a young boy and the same with Dillon (Lewis). Being able to play with them at regional level, and see them paying week in week outis great – it’s pushing me to play every week as well.
“Jarrod is experienced in playing that 10 position, he tells the boys what to do and bosses the forward pack around.”
Cardiff Blues return to Cardiff Arms Park on November 4, when they host Zebre in the Guinness P14, followed by Connacht on November 24. Tickets for both encounters are on sale now at the discounted early bird rate. Buy yours today!