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John: Blues eager to get back into PRO12

24th March 2015

Coach Paul John has revealed how Cardiff Blues are eager to get back out on the field as Guinness PRO12 rugby resumes in Belfast this Friday night.

Blues will make the trip to Ireland and the Kingspan Stadium to tackle high-flying Ulster Rugby.

John will send his troops back into league battle three weeks after the epic last gasp win over fellow Irish province Connacht Rugby.

And he admits the players are itching to get back in the thick of the action as they prepare for a crunch two weeks of the season.

“We have a big couple of weeks coming up that starts with Ulster away, which is a challenge in itself, and we need to get all the boys back playing and gelling,” he said.

“The following week we have the big European quarter-final derby with Dragons, but our focus has to be on this Friday and Ulster. Every game is important to us.

“We would have liked to have played the following week to Connacht, if we are honest, to keep momentum going.

“However, we tried to make last week as hard as we possibly could (with no game) and the focus this week has all been on Ulster. We are looking forward to getting back on the field.”

John revealed Blues were also looking to get a number of the players involved in the 6 Nations campaign for Wales back involved.

He added: “We are monitoring the Welsh boys and seeing what condition they are in, our team work closely with the WRU. We will look at Sam and Gethin, who missed the Italy game because of injury.

“The amount of effort that Sam has put in the last few weeks has been unbelievable. We will monitor that and see when he becomes available, but he is back in training and in the environment which is brilliant.

“Sam has played a full 6 Nations, has played a lot of rugby and led from the front. He is looking forward to the rest of the season and the build-up to the World Cup. He is on a central contract and we will talk about when Sam plays to ensure he plays as well as he is.

“The boys who didn’t play a major part for Wales in the last few weeks are itching to get rugby. We will look to give them a run out; it is great to see them back with a smile on their face and wanting to play.

“Alex Cuthbert, Cory Allen and Gareth Anscombe are all back training and we will finalise in the coming days who is involved against Ulster.”