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Wilson encouraged by start to the season

30th September 2015

Head Coach Danny Wilson admits he has been encouraged by the start to the season made by Cardiff Blues - but warned the challenges will continue to come thick and fast as they return to Guinness PRO12 action.

Cardiff Blues jet to Ireland to face Connacht Rugby at the Sportsground in Galway on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 5pm) in the second part of a quadruple-header on away games against the Irish provinces.

After several weeks without a fixture during the Rugby World Cup, Wilson admits he will keen to see how his players react.

He also revealed how the region went away for a training session with English Premiership outfit Bath Rugby last week to try and avoid any rustiness.

And reflecting on the opening rounds of the league campaign, Wilson has been pleased by the progress made as the team strives for more consistency.

He said: “It’s been a pleasing start for us. To get the first win at home and score 11 tries and play the rugby we did was a great start. We then went away and defended extremely well at Leinster but attacked poorly.

“We have lacked some consistency over the two games with the ball, but I have been pleased what we have done without it. We are slowly building the foundation of defence and we are getting there with the set piece.

“Our attacking game needs to become more consistent, but there is definitely flair and ability. I’m learning about this squad all the time and what they are capable of, where we need to build and work on.

“We’ve had two weeks without a game so it will be interesting for me to see how these players come off the break and into league action again,” he added.

“We’ve trained with intensity, had contact work so we are ready for that and hopefully we will hit the ground running.

“We went away last week and did some training with Bath and hopefully that provided us with the intensity you can miss without a game. But how we start against Connacht will be crucial.”

Wilson hopes to be able to recall some players for the trip to Ireland and revealed Richard Smith was one of those who could get game time after missing the start of the season with a leg injury.

“We’ve had a few players bounce back. Richard Smith has returned and will play a part in the weekend, which is good as I haven’t seen him play yet so hopefully he gets an opportunity,” he said.

“The remainder of the squad is very similar to previous games. We had a couple of bumps from the Leinster game, but we’ve had two weeks to turn that around.

“Connacht will be our third league game together; another chance for me to look at some players and make some assessment for the long-term,” added Wilson.

“It’s a work in progress here and people have been understanding of that fact. We will make improvements, but how quickly they come will be down to how consistent we become and how disciplined we are with and without the ball.”