Cardiff Blues academy star, Ben Thomas, is desperate to pick up silverware as Cardiff and Merthyr are set to go head-to-head for both the Principality Premiership and the WRU National Cup.
The former Cardiff and Vale College pupil has starred in midfield for the Blue and Blacks this season, becoming one of Steve Law’s stand-out players in their charge for a historic double.
Thomas, who previously plied his trade as an outside half, has been encouraged by his development this season, and believes the Cardiff backline have combined well throughout the campaign.
“There’s been a really nice partnership in the backline with the likes of Gareth Thompson, Will Rees Hole and Max Llewellyn,” said the former Wales under-20 international.
“Some of us might be on the bench, but we can slot in easy, we have a strong understanding together of how we want to play the game and we’ve clicked this year.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing at 12 this season. It’s working well, and at Cardiff we inter-change a lot and I end up at first receiver, as well as being in the second play-maker role.”
The capital city club travel up the A470 on Friday to take on rivals Pontypridd, as they attempt to bridge the gap between them and league leaders, Merthyr.
The following week, the Blue and Blacks return to the national stadium for the first time since 2007, as they go toe-to-toe with The Ironmen in the National Cup final.
Thomas is confident his side are capable of securing their first trophy since 2009, and reflects on a memorable season on both a personal and team level.
The back said: “I’ve really enjoyed the season so far. We had a tricky start to the season with Cardiff, but we’ve been on a good run of form since then.
“We picked up two huge victories over Merthyr and Pontypridd over the Christmas period, and were able to kick on from there.
“We slipped up last week against Swansea, but Merthyr’s result last night against Llandovery went our way and we must capitalise on that.
“The stand out game probably was the win up in Merthyr over the Christmas period. I managed to score two tries from distance, and felt I combined well with Max that evening.
“When you’re coming up against either Ponty or Merthyr, there’s always a lot of banter flying about the building, and it’s been the same this week before we go up to Sardis Road.
“Pontypridd is our first battle, and that is in the front of everyone’s mind at the moment, but of course we’re really looking forward to the final against Merthyr next week.
“Every game is a cup final for us from now on.
“I’ve played at Principality Stadium twice before when I was younger, but ended up on the losing side.
“It’ll be a big occasion, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. It will be the height of our season and something we’ve built towards this all year.
“To play in a derby against another club from this region on such a big stage is going to be amazing.
“We’ve got a good feeling in the group this year, and had a belief from the start of the season that we could go on to do something special.
“To get to this stage, it’s important for us to take the chance with both hands.”
Thomas played for Cardiff Blues A in the inaugural Celtic Cup earlier in the season, and has gone on to make 17 appearances for Cardiff RFC, scoring an impressive nine tries in the process.
The youngster added: “The A-team was a nice step-up from the Premiership, and it gave you confidence to go back and lead in the Cardiff environment.
“It was great to play and learn from some experienced boys like Fishy [Dan Fish], Lewis Jones and a few forwards.
“They’ve been around the block and there was a lot to learn from being around those type of boys.
“I’ve had a good run of games with Cardiff this year, and hopefully have managed to put my best foot forward for the region to see.
“Hopefully I’ve managed to put my hand up for selection for Cardiff Blues next season, but pre-season is going to be a huge block for myself.
“With the international boys away, it will be good to have an opportunity to prove myself over the summer and see where I can go from there.”