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Hammer: No complacency against Rovigo

12th January 2015

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett has warned his Cardiff Blues against any complacency against Italian outfit Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo - insisting the visitors will play with passion when they arrive at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.30pm).

Blues secured a 33-18 win over Rovigo when the sides met in the European Rugby Challenge cup back in October and Blues are currently in second spot in Pool 1 after four rounds while the Italians are yet to record a win.

Hammett, though, believes they will come to the Welsh capital keen to build on encouraging performances in recent times – including pushing Grenoble all the way last time out.

And he revealed he will need to manage his squad after a physical and draining encounter with Leinster last weekend on home soil.

“Rovigo is one of those games when we go in with a few dents and bruises. I have got to manage that,” said Hammett.

“It’s big European game and we are a bit short on middle rows at the moment so that will be challenging for us.

“There are other guys that have had big minutes, the likes of Josh Navidi, who need to be looked after.

“The two things we know Rovigo will bring is they will run hard and they have a good driving lineout. We have got to be on top of our game in that perspective and there is no complacency, we need to perform.”

One player who is likely to miss the game is flanker Sam Warburton after he picked up an eye injury against Leinster.

However, Hammett does not expect the back row to be sidelined for long and back in contention for the massive away clash in Grenoble later this month.

“Sam got a cut to the eye but I don’t think it’s severe,” he said. “It’s one of those injuries when he has had stitches below the eye as opposed to above. Because it is so close it is tricky.

“Most rugby players get a cut on the head and are straight back on once it is stitched up. It made it a wee more difficult with this one, but from a time frame it’s just a matter of how quickly he heals.

“I was looking at giving him Rovigo off anyway so hopefully that will give him time to recover.”

Tickets are on sale NOW for the European clash with Rovigo. Call the Ticket Office on 02920 302030 or click HERE to buy online and enjoy the Friday night action at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.