Blaine Scully insists Cardiff Blues will take it one game at a time, as Danny Wilson's side head into an "exciting period" of the campaign, starting with Friday's visit of Benetton Rugby to the Welsh capital.
With five Guinness PRO14 fixtures remaining, and an European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh, there is plenty to play for as the Blues look to secure their spot in next year’s Champions Cup and make a push for the end-of-season play-offs.
Scully, who recently celebrated an Americas Rugby Championship triumph with USA, is expecting a tough challenge against a much-improved Benetton side, but believes Wales’ Capital Region can head into the encounter with plenty of confidence, on the back of three consecutive PRO14 victories.
“It’s a very exciting period with a lot to play for. Our focus is going to be on one week at a time, and this week it’s going to have to be solely on Benetton in order to get the result we want,” said Scully.
“If we want to kick on, we’re going to have to be on-the-money in pretty much everything we do.
"We’re pretty confident in what we can do and how we can perform. A lot of that confidence comes from training well and continue to trust and build depth in the squad.
“We’ve got guys that will throw that jersey on and it will be the most important thing for them.
“We’re really excited for every challenge we face and we’re not afraid of anything.
“We’ll be facing a much improved side and a very challenging team to play against. They’ve been pretty successful in a break where you’d normally think they’d be under-staffed because of the Six Nations, but they’ve performed really well.”
Seven Cardiff Blues players are currently involved in Wales’ NatWest 6 Nations squad, who will face France in the Championship finale on Saturday - with all three Super Saturday fixtures shown live at Cardiff Arms Park.
Following international call-ups and injuries over the course of the season, academy products such as Aled Summerhill, Owen Lane, Jarrod Evans, Seb Davies and Garyn Smith have stepped up and impressed when called upon.
Scully, who penned a contract extension at the region earlier this season, is excited to see how the promising crop of youngsters progress, and believes, as a senior player, he has an important role to play in their developments.
Scully said: “We have a lot of talent [at the region], now we’re seeing that come through and it’s fantastic. What is a really good hallmark of a club in terms of how well it’s established and how sustainable it is, is the talent it produces and the talent it nurtures and grows.
“With the young athletes that come through the academy and play for the first team, it becomes a really important pillar, not only from a performance point-of-view, but also culturally.
“We have athletes who have only known one club and that’s a really powerful thing. We look across the board at some of the talent we have and it’s really something we can look forward to.
“It’s all about the team and growing everyone on the team. As an experienced person, and potentially someone others would like to as a leader, it’s my job to help nurture and grow the talent we have.
“I think that’s important to have that as a team ethos and a mindset, because it’s about the team being in the best place possible moving forward.”
Be there to make the difference in the crucial final block of Guinness PRO14 fixtures. Tickets are now available for Cardiff Blues' home fixtures against Benetton Rugby, Ulster Rugby and Ospreys.