Danny Wilson expects to welcome a tough and motivated Edinburgh outfit to Cardiff Arms Park for Friday's Guinness PRO14 opener.
Former Leicester Tigers and Toulon head coach, Richard Cockerill, has taken the reins at Myreside over the summer as the Scottish capital side look to change their fortunes on domestic and European fronts.
Wilson believes the Edinburgh players will be extremely keen to make a mark on their new head coach and expects to come up against a typically organised and physical Richard Cockerill side.
“Richard’s record goes before him. He’s an extremely well organised, a hard-nosed coach who puts that steel into teams he coaches,” said the Cardiff Blues head coach.
“You just have to look at the last two sides he’s been involved with. Leicester Tigers and their record over the long period and then Toulon who came extremely close in the latter stages of their competition.
“He’s a quality coach, they’ve always had a big pack of forwards who set-piece well, a good defence and I don’t see that changing from Richard Cockerill taking over.
“It’s a big challenge for us and it will be interesting to see what changes he’ll make there.
“Now is their first chance under their new coach to make a mark, and I’m sure they’ll be coming over extremely motivated on Friday night.”
Wales’ Capital Region go into the new league campaign off the back of two pre-season wins, against London Scottish and Aviva Premiership champions, Exeter Chiefs.
Meanwhile, Danny Wilson’s side also prepared for the Championship opener by training alongside Bath Rugby at the Vale training ground yesterday.
Wilson insists the pre-season wins can give his side a confidence boost ahead of the new campaign, and believes training sessions against the likes of Bath can build-up intensity within the squad ahead of a crucial clash.
Wilson said: “It’s a confidence boost, a good shot of confidence to the arm to have a side like that, with all the success they’ve had and coming with as strong a team as they had available to them and it was a good win with a lot of youngsters on the field.
“But ultimately it means nothing. League points start on Friday and it’s about asking whether that was good enough prep for Friday? I’d like to think so, but unfortunately we picked up an injury to Ellis Jenkins, which was the only real negative that came out of the night.
“Other than that, it was a pleasing night and hopefully a confidence boost going into Friday.
“When you go through pre-season, you get a break that you all need physically and mentally, then you get into training and once you get half-way through you’re ready for a game.
“We come in off the back of a tough game and a bit of recovery was needed at the start of this week.
“We trained against Bath today, which has been a really good session ahead of an exciting first game against Edinburgh.
“Lots of teams do it. We do live scrums, live line-outs and backs-on-backs then go team-on-team defending each other’s attacks.
“It’s been a good work out. There’s different faces around the place which means different intensity and it ramps everything up a bit.”
Tickets are still available for Friday’s clash, as well as for Cardiff Blues next two home fixtures in the Guinness PRO14, against Glasgow Warriors and Dragons. Purchase yours HERE