Josh Turnbull says derby games give players a unique buzz, as Cardiff Blues look to make it three from three over the festive period when they host Scarlets on Friday evening.
A second consecutive sell-out crowd is expected at the Arms Park for the Guinness PRO14 encounter, as John Mulvihill’s side target five consecutive victories in the Championship.
If selected, the clash will see Turnbull come up against his former side and making his 131st appearance for Cardiff Blues, over-taking the amount of appearances he made for Scarlets.
The utility forward says a clean-sweep over Christmas was a target for his side and is excited to play in front of another packed-out Cardiff Arms Park.
“Three derby wins was definitely a target for us before we came into these derbies,” said the Welsh international.
“Last year we were two from three over the festive period, and this year we wanted to go one better by making it three from three.
“We’ve got four wins on the bounce in the Guinness PRO14 now and we’ve put ourselves in a tidy position.
“We don’t want to let it slip. Winning games over this festive period could help us towards the end of the season. The two games we lost against the Ospreys cost us last year.
“As a group we’re really looking forward to this weekend. The thing with derbies is that everyone knows everyone, and everyone has fun playing in those games because of the physicality.
“The one thing I always look forward to at the start of seasons is the derbies and the Christmas period. You’re playing against your mates, but you’re also playing towards higher honours as well.
“It’s really enjoyable and I get a real buzz from playing in these games.
“There’s less than 1,000 tickets left for Friday night and when the Arms Park is full to the rafters it’s quality and there is so much noise.
“Boxing Day was no different and the crowd really make a difference for us on the pitch.
“There’s similar form from both sides going into the game but we just have to worry about ourselves leading into this game.”
Last week, the 10-times capped international penned a new long-term contract with Wales’ Capital Region.
Turnbull says he is delighted to extend his time with the region he now considers ‘home’.
The 31-year-old added: “This game will take me to 131 appearances for Cardiff Blues, which takes me ahead of what I managed to play at the Scarlets. It’s not bad to play that many games for two different regions!
“I’m just privileged to do what I do and I’m really happy to be doing it.
“I come to work every day with a smile on my face. There might be tough days, which has been throughout my time here and the Scarlets, but on the other side there is always something to make you smile.
“I’m really delighted to get the contract done and I’m happy to be staying here for the long-term future.
“When John said he wanted me to stay, I knew that would give me a bit of stability and I also didn’t have any interest in going elsewhere.
“For me, this place is home now.
“Even though I live outside of the region, and travel in with a couple of the others boys, this is my home now and it will be for the foreseeable future as well.”
To secure your ticket click here or call 029 20 302030. The Cardiff Blues ticket office is open until 5pm today and from 9am on Thursday.