Owen Lane is excited at the prospect of playing in another fiery Welsh derby, as Cardiff Blues prepare to take on Dragons on Saturday.
The wing made an impact during last season’s Boxing Day win at Rodney Parade, setting Aled Summerhill up for a first half score and picking up the Guinness man-of-the-match medal.
The clash was Lane’s first experience of a full-blown PRO14 Welsh derby, and the 20-year-old says it’s an unique experience to play a part in these type of encounters.
“It’s the first one of the season, and the boys are raring to go," said Lane.
“Obviously it’s a big occasion, being the first derby of the year, but we’ll just focus on ourselves and make sure we perform a little bit better than we did last week.
“I didn’t score the try at last season’s game but did manage to set Aled up and luckily I got man-of-the-match at the end of that game.
“It was my first taste of a derby and it’s a different occasion. There was a big, packed crowd and it was Boxing Day.
“I enjoyed the experience, hopefully it will be a similar one this year and hopefully we can get the win as well.
“The atmosphere was great there last year. I can remember being very nervous while warming up and going out for the game, but after the first whistle you relax and get into the swing of things.
“I really enjoyed my experience, and it did help that I had a good game.
Following a breakthrough campaign last season, scoring six tries for the senior side, Lane has started in all five of his side’s opening fixtures this season.
John Mulvihill’s side secured their second consecutive win of the campaign against Cheetahs last week, but Lane insists Wales’ Capital Region must improve ahead of a tough challenge against the Dragons.
Lane said: “We know it wasn’t a great performance last week, but hopefully we can put that right this week with a nice and important win.
“We’re focusing on ourselves at the moment. The Dragons have had some tough results but played well last week out in Glasgow.
“But we have to concentrate on ourselves after the performance last week. We weren’t where we should’ve been, and dropped off from where we were the week before.
“We’re aiming to put that right this week, perform to the best of our ability and hopefully that will be good enough for us to get the win.
“We knew how big and how important last week’s game was, and it was a chance to back up the Munster game.
“We backed it up with the result, but maybe not with our performance, so this week we want the result, first and foremost, but also get a good performance in.
“No doubt on the day of the game, the blood will be flowing but personally I try to chill as much as I can before a game and be as relaxed as I can before I take to the field.
“It’s a tough place to go, and hopefully there will be a good crowd there, but it’s good to be playing in Wales.”