Saturday's Challenge Cup semi final against Pau is set to be a special occasion at the iconic Cardiff Arms Park, according to captain, Gethin Jenkins.
The loose-head prop is one of European rugby’s most decorated players, and led Cardiff Blues to a famous Challenge Cup victory over a star-studded Toulon in the final at Marseille in 2010.
Jenkins is as hungry as ever for success with the region, and believes his side can head into Saturday’s clash with confidence, having impressed with their home form throughout the campaign.
“It’s always nice to lead the boys out at the Arms Park. It will be a good feeling for myself to get out onto that pitch and hopefully lead the team to a final,” said Jenkins.
“Every time we’ve played there this season we’ve looked to build and build and put in performances that people can be proud of. We’ll look to continue that on the weekend.
“The big challenge for us was going away to Edinburgh. We knew that the result of that would be a nice, home semi final so everything will be focused on putting thing into place so we can get a good performance and hopefully get the victory.
“It’s probably a little bit different to usual because we’re home, at the Arms Park, and I’ve never played a home semi final there before.
“It should make for a great atmosphere and the boys are really looking forward to getting out on our home patch and giving a good performance.
“Pau have got a lot of experience in their squad. We’re aware of how well they’ve been doing in the French league and some of the performances they’ve put in.
“They’ve got quality throughout with ex-All Blacks and Steffon Armitage, who is a key player for them, and some senior forwards, who have been around the block, making for a strong pack.”
Jenkins, who is also Wales’ record cap-holder, revealed that the current squad are very tight-knitted, which has had an extremely positive impact on the on-field performances.
Jenkins said: “The way we’ve been playing we’ve been going out to enjoy our rugby, and that will continue on the weekend. I don’t think anything will change there. We’ve got a lot of players who are playing with confidence at the moment.
"I know it’s a cliché, but when you come off that field having given everything and got that win, there’s no better feeling. This weekend will be no different.
“As a group, we’ve built over the last two or three years to get to where we are now, and it’s a pretty settled group.
“We know each other inside-out and are working hard for each other. That’s something we’ll keep pushing throughout the week and into Saturday.
“We’ve grafted and worked as hard as we can to get to this stage, and it’s something that we don’t want to let go easily.”
Tickets for Cardiff Blues v Pau in the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup remain available on a limited basis and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030