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Hammer: We must match French intensity

14th October 2014

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett has called on his Cardiff Blues to match the intensity of European visitors Grenoble this weekend.

Cardiff Blues kick-off the region’s European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign with a visit from the Top14 outfit to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).

Hammer knows Blues must expect a tough examination from an ‘unpredictable’ French side that have impressed to climb to sixth place in their domestic league with five wins from nine games.

However, he stressed Blues must first focus on themselves as they look to bounce back from derby day defeat to Ospreys in the right manner.

He said: “Grenoble play with a real intensity and we have to match that, they are very unpredictable and French in that manner. They certainly like to play at speed, to interplay and link well.

“They have big packs so if we try and get into a wrestling match up high we will struggle against them. It’s important in terms of our body position, the height at which you tackle and speed at which you get up. They are the critical factors against teams like Grenoble.

“We are working hard at our game but not clicking yet. Ultimately I’m more worried about us than Grenoble and focussing on what we do. We want the win and to get our team in shape.”

Hammer also admitted he would have a number of selection calls to make for the clash with a number of players putting their hands up for selection from the bench in recent weeks.

“We have got to manage the group and manage the workloads. You’ve also got to manage, as in every group, selection as you have positions that are tightly contested,” he added.

“If you look at Sam Hobbs and Gethin Jenkins, that is tightly contested. Matthew Rees and Kristian Dacey, Josh Turnbull and Macauley Cook, Sam Warburton and Josh Navidi, they are all very competitive positions.

“They are the challenges and the good ones in terms of keeping people fresh and competing for every position.”

Tickets are on sale NOW for the big European opener with Grenoble at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. Call the Ticket Office on 02920 302030 or click HERE to buy online.