Will Boyde is excited to play in front of a ‘bouncing’ Cardiff Arms Park as he gears up for his home debut in Cardiff Blues colours.
Following maximum points on the road against Isuzu Southern Kings in South Africa, John Mulvihill’s side welcome Edinburgh to the capital on Saturday for their first home game of the Guinness PRO14 campaign (KO 5.15pm).
Former Wales under-20 international, Boyde, made a switch to the Welsh capital from Scarlets during the summer, having been a fan favourite at the Llanelli-based region.
The back row says he is settling into life at Wales’ Capital Region but admits he was touched by the send-off from Scarlets fans during the summer.
Boyde said: “I’m looking forward for my home debut to come now. It will be become the norm for me soon, but this is my first weekend as a home player in front of this crowd and hopefully everything goes well and they’ll have plenty to cheer about.
“When I came here last year, it obviously wasn’t so good because the Arms Park crowd had enough to cheer about that night with a 38-0 lead at half time, and they were loud!
“It wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience! But every time I’ve played here it’s been a derby so the crowd has been full and bouncing so hopefully there will be plenty more experiences of that, but this time I’ll be playing on the other side.
“I’ll always put 100 per cent in, no matter what jersey I’m in. It was really flattering to see all the response I had from all the Scarlets fans. I didn’t really expect that but when it happened it was touching.
"I was at the Scarlets since I was 15 and everyone there enjoyed seeing me come through and become the player I am.
“But now it is the start of a new journey for myself here and that starts on Saturday.
“I’ve settled in nicely and got to know the boys really well, especially after a week in South Africa, and hopefully everything will start taking care of itself and I’ll enjoy myself more and more.”
The Kings proved to be a stern challenge in Port Elizabeth, but six tries got the Blues over the line for a bonus point win to kick off the campaign.
Boyde believes the side showed their character in the victory but expects another tough test against an Edinburgh side who defeated Zebre in their opening weekend encounter.
He added: “It’s good to get this season going with a win and I think the Kings this year are going to be a tough away trip for a lot of teams.
“First game up, they threw everything at us to be fair and we did well to come back and get the five points in the end.
“All the boys are obviously pleased with that, and even though there’s a lot to pick up on moving forward, we’ll take for the first game.
“It shows the character that we’re trying to build here. There’s an emphasis that I’ve seen since joining the club about getting a family feel with all the boys and how tight we are.
“To come back from eight points down out there in the heat shows good character and hopefully we’ve got the winning way, can roll into this weekend and keep that going.
“Edinburgh always tend to have a physical pack so we’ll have to front up there and see how that front goes.
“They’re very direct, with a few key players to look out for but we need to do our own thing and hopefully get the win.
“With just two teams up in Scotland, they do have a few players away in the World Cup, but I don’t think you can take them lightly.
“They’ll be coming down here, looking for their second win in a row so someone will have to lose that title this weekend.
“For myself it’s about getting on the field when I can and give 100 per cent when I can and hopefully that will be enough. I don’t want to look further than that.
“As a team, we’re looking to build together and get a few more wins than last year. When those wins do come they lead to more things, whether that’s Champions Cup rugby or semi finals and finals of the PRO14. It’s a matter of getting the results and building together towards those big games.”
Tickets for Cardiff Blues versus Edinburgh are available now and can be purchased by calling 029 20 302030 or clicking here.