Eight months after putting pen-to-paper on a deal to join Cardiff Blues, Will Boyde admits he’s thoroughly enjoying a new chapter in his rugby career.
The hard-grafting back row has been in fine form for John Mulvihill’s side this year, and his impact on the squad was rewarded as he was named captain ahead of last week’s bonus point victory over Pau at the Arms Park.
Boyde admits his release from home region, Scarlets, was a ‘tough pill to swallow’ but insists it’s given him extra motivation to continue to give his all to his new side.
“I’ve settled in really well. It’s obviously my first time moving clubs so it took a while to get used to the different characters and being a new kid on the block,” said the former Wales under-20 international.
“I’ve settled in really nicely now but I’m not taking anything for granted either.
“There were two games left in the season, all the regional squads were full but I was very fortunate to pick up a place in this squad, and that’s been my extra drive this season. Not that I need an extra drive!
“It’s made me appreciate it even more that this is my job. And it is a dream job.
“I always have done, but even more so I go out there every weekend and giving it my all. I never thought that was an issue.
“The situation I was in last season, where I captained the Scarlets squad for a couple of games to then not being wanted there was really hard to take.
“It wasn’t about injuries or the fact that I wasn’t playing. I think I played around 70-odd games over the three seasons.
“It was a tough pill to swallow, but I’ve grown now, am a better person for it and really enjoy being here.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s reverse fixture against Pau, Boyde expects a very different challenge against the French outfit in their own back yard, as his side look to build momentum ahead of the upcoming festive derbies.
The back row added: “We appreciate the difference between a home and away game, especially when it comes to the grounds and the fact that we have an artificial pitch at the Arms Park.
“We’re expecting a very different surface in Pau this weekend and to potentially come up against a different squad.
“When I got asked to captain the side, I was obviously very happy, and the mother was very proud and everything!
“But otherwise it’s most normal for myself, with just a bit of extras like talking pre-game a little bit more, getting the boys to concentrate and that role was on my shoulders.
“But as far as going out there to play, I just kept playing my own game and it worked out pretty well.
“Internally, we understand that we’re building forwards towards performances and results will come in that way as well.
“Leading into the derbies, we really want to get a good away win this weekend because losing this weekend could un-do all the hard work we did on Saturday.
“We worked hard to get an eight-try win and we don’t want to go into those derbies on the back of a loss. We want to go in on a high and keep that momentum going forward.”