Cardiff Blues wing Aled Summerhill is ready to pick up where he left off, as he prepares for his first taste of competitive action this season.
The academy product enjoyed his best campaign to date last season, crossing for 10 tries in all competitions and surpassing an overall total of 100 points and 50 appearances in Cardiff Blues colours.
The former Wales under-20 and Sevens international is part of a competitive back three at the Arms Park, with the likes of Jason Harries, Matthew Morgan, Owen Lane, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos and Dan Fish amongst those vying for a place in John Mulvihill’s plans.
It’s safe to say that Summerhill was one of the most dangerous wings in Wales last season, and he’s eager to continue his fine form into the new campaign, starting with the Cardiff Blues A clash against Dragons A on Saturday (KO 3.30pm).
The 24-year-old said: “It’ll be nice to get some starts over the next few weeks, but there’s tough competition in this squad.
“It will be good to get out there, and hopefully I can pick up from where I left off last season.
“Pre-season has been longer than usual, but it has been good in some ways. Instead of coming in and being intense from the start, we’ve been able to build our fitness up over time, as well as our strength.
“It’s been good and enjoyable, and we’ve also had opportunities to do some fun activities like the Aqua Park at Cardiff Bay and paint-balling.
“It’s good now to have a game on Saturday and the next weeks will be leading into the start of the Guinness PRO14 season.
“It’s been a tough few weeks, but all the boys are really looking forward to Saturday and getting out there, on the Arms Park pitch, and put a performance in.
“We’re happy to get some game-time under our belt and you can see in the squad that everyone is looking forward to it.”
Summerhill featured for Cardiff Blues A in the Celtic Cup last season, before making a step up to become a key figure in the senior backline as the campaign progressed.
The wing believes the competition is a good platform to develop and gain valuable game time, and is looking forward to a memorable occasion on Saturday at Summerfest.
He added: “The Celtic Cup is a really good competition, because it is a step up from the Premiership, especially in terms of the intensity.
“It also gives an opportunity to play at a higher level for some of the Premiership boys, as well as boys who need game-time.
“There’s a really nice mix in the side with some of the younger boys being involved.
“I remember from playing in this competition last season, you do come up against some very good players, and you’ve seen international players dropping in to play at times, and that increases the standard.
“It should be a great day, especially with the Wales game being shown beforehand, so people can watch back-to-back games and is should be a good day of rugby.”
Gates open ahead of the game at 1pm for the annual Summerfest event, which will include player-led Skill Masterclasses, Inflatable activities, Q&As, stadium tours and a live screening of Ireland v Wales.
The event is included in Season Membership packages and tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030