Academy Manager Richard Hodges believes the LV=Cup is the perfect opportunity for home-grown stars to show they can cut it at the top level - admitting the desire to take the chance at first team level is huge for his players.
Cardiff Blues opened the new LV=Cup campaign with a tense 22-21 victory over Newcastle Falcons last Friday night in the north east of England.
The result was all the more pleasing as Blues selected a team with a real mix of fringe first team players eager to impress and Academy prospects determined to make the step up.
And Academy boss Hodges has revealed Blues will look for a similar mix this Friday night when they face a Welsh derby against Scarlets at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 7.30pm).
“Players have worked so hard as part of the Academy pathway for so many years that the desire to get an opportunity at first team level is huge,” said Hodges.
“We will have 17 of our match day 23 on Friday night having come through the Academy system; that is a lot of schools and clubs represented and a lot of proud people and families on the night.
“We also know that not all 17 will probably become fully fledged Blues players. It is seeing who will really cope with it and who thrives, but also who maybe struggles a little.
“The LV=Cup competition allows us to make better informed and educated decisions on players because they have had that exposure.”
Hodges is also hoping a big crowd will descend on the home of the Blues as the Welsh capital gears up for a big weekend of rugby.
“I think a big crowd in would be huge for us and I like to think the Newcastle result will persuade people to come on down - they can see that there is a lot of good young talent within the region,” he added.
“Both sides will have talented players on show and it will be a good night out. A Blues versus Scarlets game on the eve of an international next door – it would be great to see as big a crowd in as possible.”
Tickets are on sale NOW for Blues versus Scarlets in a Welsh derby in the LV=Cup this Friday night at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. Call the Ticket Office on 02920 302030 or click HERE to buy online. Remember – it is Kids for a Quid this game!