Cardiff Blues’ latest back row recruit, Will Boyde, says he is settled into life at the Welsh capital since making the summer move from Scarlets.
Boyde, who can cover positions across the back row, has been training with his new region for seven weeks, and joins the competitive back row ranks which includes the likes of Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Olly Robinson and Shane Lewis-Hughes.
The Scarlets academy graduate, who was a member of the 2016/17 Guinness PRO14 winning squad, has fond memories of his time in Llanelli, but arrives at Wales’ Capital Region with a hunger to bring silverware to the Cardiff Arms Park.
“It got a bit frantic towards the end of last season, when things suddenly got moving and it was announced that I would be leaving the club.
“But I’m more than happy to be here, especially since coming in to the training facilities itself at Cardiff Arms Park. I’m really enjoying it and I’m enjoying the city itself.
“The boys have been really welcoming, and I’ve made the move to living in Cardiff itself, which has made the move easier and I’m in and amongst it with the boys.
“I had a lot of highs over there. It probably got left on a bit of a sour note but everything was brilliant down there, especially when we won the league, got into another final and into the semi final in Europe.
“But hopefully, with the squad that we have here, we can go on and chase some silverware ourselves over the next couple of year. That’s always the goal. You don’t join a squad to be on the back-foot and look to maintain.
“So hopefully we’re at a point where we can really push on to other things and have successful days in a Blues jersey.”
Boyde spoke on the latest episode of Cardiff Blues Uncovered, which looks at life behind the scenes during the region’s pre-season preparations.
The back row admits the two heavy defeats suffered at the hands of John Mulvihill’s side last season convinced him to make the switch to Wales’ Capital Region, and he is excited for an opportunity to further develop his personal game, particularly at the breakdown.
Boyde added: “Last year, the Blues pumped us a couple of times and they represented and I saw, first-hand, their brand of rugby. They’re very attacking focus, but they’ve also got guts about the forward pack especially defensively and in the line-out mauls.
“They have an identity that I thought I could fit in with, and after speaking to some of the coaches it was easier to make the decision to come to Cardiff and so far it’s been the right decision as I’ve slotted in easily and smoothly.
“Hopefully I can develop my own personal skills by playing and training under different coaches.
“The standard of the back row is very high, and the work at the breakdown in terms of turnovers is something I might’ve got away from over the last few years.
“Coming here, over the first couple of months of training, you can see the emphasis of that in training and that’s an area of my game that I’m definitely looking to improve on by being here.
“There’s a lot of good boys here and it will be a good competition for places when it gets down to it.
“Hopefully the Blues can do the double over the Scarlets again this year, but in all seriousness, it’s good to get them in the Conference and to be playing them home and away this season.
“There’s a few games in the first half of the season that we can really target, especially some big home games and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd at Cardiff Arms Park, especially in those three derbies.”