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Gill fired up for third derby

5th January 2018

Rhys Gill is anticipating a ferocious battle at the Liberty Stadium and he has called on his Cardiff Blues teammates to match the Ospreys' physicality.

The Ospreys are currently bottom of Conference A but have turned the corner in recent weeks and have won three of their last four encounters in all competitions.

Wales’ Capital Region have not won in Swansea since 2005 and Gill, who starts for the second consecutive week, is under no illusions of the challenge ahead in the Blues’ third Welsh derby in 11 days. 

Gill said: “It’s a big old festive period. Three derbies on the bounce is never easy because they are international standard matches. It is as high as you can get intensity-wise and then Toulouse is a massive one for us. 

“We’re top of the league (Pool 2) and we want to try to get through to the quarter-finals, which would put us in a good position for the rest of the season.

“But the Ospreys is huge for us. We’ve spoken about it a lot this week and to be within a chance against the Ospreys, you have to match them physically.

“If we get that right then we’re in with a chance because our attack has been good. It’s just getting the set-piece right and our physicality at the breakdown because that’s what they pride themselves on.”

Gill has also pin-pointed Dmitri Arhip and close friend, and former Arms Park favourite, Bradley Davies as the key men in the Ospreys pack.

“They are getting a lot better and that’s definitely the case at the set-piece with Dimitri coming back, he’s been playing really well and has changed the Ospreys pack.

“Brad’s great, he’s one of my best mates so it will be good to play against him. We had dinner at mine on Boxing Day and he was saying he’s back playing well, is happy and has put a bit of weight back on. 

“With him and Alun Wyn firing, they are the heart of their pack. It’s going to be a long old shift for us, but hopefully he won’t get near me!

“It’s a case of getting up off the line and stopping them from getting their game going.”