Josh Turnbull says it’s vital his side kick-start their Challenge Cup campaign with a bang, as they travel to take on Calvisano in Italy.
The utility forward, who has featured in every game for Wales’ Capital Region this season, was part of the 2018 squad who lifted the Challenge Cup following an unforgettable win over Gloucester in Bilbao.
The Welsh international admits Calvisano will be an unknown quantity but insists his side are hungry to repeat their European success this season.
Turnbull said: “Calvisano will be a little bit of the unknown, even though we have faced them a few years ago in the same competition.
“They’ve got some past professional players there and it will be a test for some our younger boys who have been given an opportunity this weekend to go out and play.
“It’s important that we play well in this Challenge Cup campaign, and we know what success tastes like in this competition, particularly in Bilbao, and we’re hungry for more.
“It’s important for us, as a squad, to have some success in Europe and we want to kick start that campaign with a bang out in Italy this weekend.
“We want to concentrate on ourselves, particularly against a side like Calvisano, who we don’t know a great deal about.
“It’s important to start the pool stage with a win.”
Last week’s Guinness PRO14 win over Toyota Cheetahs brought a four-game losing streak to an end, and Turnbull, who crossed the whitewash at the Arms Park, was delighted to see his side rediscover their attacking identity.
“Obviously, the first game went well for us out in South Africa, but it was a little bit difficult after that, with a few consecutive losses within small margins.
“The performances weren’t quite there as a collective but last weekend, against Cheetahs, we were excellent.
“We really showed our intent as a playing group with the way we want to play.
“We stamped our authority on the game early doors and came out with an intent to attack and play good rugby.
“We started feeling a bit of pressure but it was a good victory and as a squad we can be pleased with the way we developed throughout the game.
“It was just great to see the boys go out there and play with a smile on their faces.
“We scored a couple of good tries and chucked the ball around a bit, and showed a bit of the rugby we played last season.”