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Hammer looks to keep momentum going

20th November 2014

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett acknowledges Cardiff Blues must look to keep recent cup momentum going - but stressed creating the right environment for long-term success is just as vital right now for the region.

Cardiff Blues travel to Edinburgh Rugby and BT Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon as they resume Guinness PRO12 rugby on the back of a recent rich vein of form.

Blues have won four out of their last five games in all competitions – with the only defeat coming against Munster in what Hammett described as the best performance of the season despite the result.

However, while success in Scotland is the objective this weekend to move up the league standings, Hammett has spoken passionately about the work going on behind the scenes to ensure Blues have the right environment in place for years to come.

He said: “It’s important we try and keep this momentum going; the Munster game we played the best we have all year and we plan to win every game.

“But we are also developing players and I’ve had to come in and have a ‘helicopter view’ of us as a group. I have done a lot of listening and started to develop my views around the quality of leaders and those that are going to step up.

“I ask myself where our strengths and weaknesses are as a side and that is something I discuss with my Board and playing group. A few tweaks here and there and the future can be very bright.

“I don’t think I have yet brought in a lot in terms of the playing style. At the moment I am more concerned with do we have the environment that is going to make the group better?

“We have to ask, do we have the environment that will make us more skilful and strong? Do we have players with desire to perform week in and week out? Do we have players who can go to Connacht in horrible wet weather and give everything? Do we have the right mix?

“Those are the questions I need to ask. You can just look at results through 80 minutes, but I’m looking at the long-term while trying to get results at the weekend.”

Hammett has revealed Gareth Anscombe will make his debut in Scotland and also revealed other positive front row injury news.

“We have some long-term injuries in Rhys Patchell and Dafydd Hewitt, but Craig Mitchell is not far away from coming back,” he added.

“Craig won’t be available this weekend, but he is very close and participating in full training and on the mend. It will be good to have him back.”