Cardiff Blues are set to unleash Samu Manoa in the Heineken Champions Cup this weekend.
Wales’ Capital Region embark upon their latest European campaign with an away trip to face Lyon at Matmut Stade de Gerland on Sunday.
Manoa, who joined the Blues during the summer, is regarded as one of the most devastating ball-carriers in European rugby and adds further firepower to the pack.
Now giant USA international the is in line to make his long-awaited debut for the region and John Mulvihill has been impressed by what he has seen.
The Cardiff Blues said: “Samu will be starting in that game. I don’t know if it will be at five, six or number eight but he will be playing.
“He just brings that physicality and he’s shown that in training.
“He’s a very good rugby player and those players pick up patterns really quickly. He has done that in a week and we are happy with where he’s at.
“He was probably a day or two short of playing the Dragons but he will be good to go. It wasn’t so much his fitness but our lineout calls, the patterns of play and going into a derby we thought it was a bit of a risk.”
Lyon are in their maiden Champions Cup campaign and are flying high in the Top 14 but Cardiff Blues can take confidence from a pair of victories over the French club on their way to winning the European Challenge Cup last season.
However, they are certain to present a much tougher challenge in the top tier of Europe and Mulvihill expects a red hot cauldron in the French city.
He added: “It will be fantastic down there. We have done our homework on them and feel if we go to compete, really throw the ball around and make the game quick then we will give ourselves an opportunity to win.
“We could have 20,000-30,000 supporters there baying for our blood – it will be a great occasion.”
Following Sunday’s clash with Lyon, Cardiff Blues welcome Glasgow Warriors to Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday, October 21. Tickets are available now by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.