Alex Knott is eager to develop his personal game as he steps up to represent Cardiff Blues A in the opening round of Celtic Cup action.
Defending champions Leinster A visit the Welsh capital on Saturday (KO 2.30pm), with head coaches Gethin Jenkins and T Rhys Thomas naming a side containing an exciting mix of the region’s most promising youngsters with stand-out stars from the Indigo Group Premiership.
Knott lines-up in midfield alongside co-captain, Sam Beard, who has experience of playing at the highest level with Edinburgh, Dragons and Canterbury.
The Pontypridd centre has been impressed with the professional environment at the Arms Park, and believes he can learn from his coaches and team-mates during the Celtic Cup campaign.
“It’s been good to get to know the boys over the last week and making the step up from the Premiership into a more professional environment,” said the 25-year-old.
“We’re also getting coached by two ex-internationals in TRT and Gethin Jenkins, and the boys seems to have clicked instantly as a group.
“It’s good to also have some boys involved who have experience at professional standard, especially the likes of Sam Beard and Tom Habberfield, who are co-captains.
“Sam has played out in New Zealand and it will be exciting to learn from someone with his experience.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend, and we can learn from both coaches and the players around us. It’s about those small details, and hopefully we can take that back into the Premiership and develop our own game.
“Every rugby player’s ambition is to play to the highest level they can. Having played for Ponty last season, it’s nice to make the step up with some of my team-mates over there and mix in with Cardiff and Merthyr boys as well.
“There’s a lot of Premiership boys involved and I’m really excited to get underway.
“The three clubs from the region were the top three in the league last season and it’s exciting to get some of the best players from those teams involved and playing and gelling together.”
Knott joined Pontypridd in the summer of 2018, having impressed in the previous season while featuring for the Sardis Road outfit on permit from Nelson RFC.
The primary school teacher, who came through the junior ranks at Caerphilly RFC, became a key figure in Justin Burnell’s side during his debut season, providing an attacking threat from outside centre.
Knott is proud to earn the opportunity to represent Cardiff Blues A, and is excited for the challenge ahead against a formidable Leinster side.
The centre added: “It’s going to be a tough game against Leinster, and it’s going to be step up for us Premiership boys who are involved.
“But the group as a whole are looking forward to it and it’s one everyone can relish.
“I’m proud to be able to wear that jersey and head out onto the Arms Park pitch. I had a few text messages when the team came out.
“There will be a few mates and family heading down to watch so it will be a nice day out for them.”
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