Blog Banner

Lane ready to taste electric CAP atmosphere once again

First Team News | 27th August 2021

With 18 months since the Blue and Blacks last played in front of the Cardiff Arms Park faithful, Owen Lane admits he can't wait to taste the electric matchday atmosphere once again.

Excitement is building as Cardiff finally prepare to welcome their supporters back to the Arms Park terraces for the pre-season clash against Bath Rugby in two weeks time, while the fixture list for the United Rugby Championship campaign was confirmed earlier today.

Wales wing Lane, who made a try scoring return to the international scene over the summer, linked up with the Blue and Blacks squad this week as the countdown starts for the new United Rugby Championship campaign.

And he’s already seen how the training programme is geared to give Dai Young’s side a licence to thrill on the Arms Park pitch in the new season.

“It’s been intense and a bit of a shock to the system. I’d done a bit during my time off, but this week has certainly been a step up in terms of training intensity, volume and running load,” explained the former Whitchurch High School pupil.

“It definitely mirrors the international programme more closely, which is good for us as a team.

“But my legs are definitely feeling the afters now.

“Dai is looking to play at a fast pace and with intensity. We’ve got the players to do that but we must be fit enough to implement that type of game-plan.

“I can definitely see Trystan’s philosophy coming in, in terms of the amount we’re running and the high speeds we’re doing.

“It will be good for us outside backs and it means we’ll be more resilient, touch wood. If we’re fit enough, hopefully we can play that game-plan and it will come to fruition in the season.

“It was a difficult season last season with injuries, that’s been well-documented, so from a personal point of view it was nice to be back in the international set-up over the summer.

“It was nice to get two Test matches under my belt, even though the results weren’t great and we didn’t give the best account of ourselves out there.”

“But it was a tough challenge and I just enjoyed being back. Hopefully I can build on that this year, get myself in a few more squads and get more Test matches.

The homegrown star added: “When you’re playing at the Arms Park, a big part of that is the atmosphere and how close the crowd are to you.

“I had a taste of playing in front of fans once again over the summer, and it was nice to have them back, and hopefully we can get full capacity crowds here as people come out to watch some rugby.

“That should inspire the boys and it definitely makes me feel more up for the games. The boys want to put on a show.

“Hopefully we can do that and the supporters can watch us get a few wins alongside some nice tries!

“Crowds are a big part of going out and building up for games, so the last few months have been difficult.

“They help with the whole atmosphere and building it within yourself. I didn’t realise the difference it made until I played in the summer in front of spectators. It added a new dimension to the game and I’d missed that.

“I love playing here at Cardiff, and it’s where I want to continue to play my rugby. I love it when they crowd is here, my friends and family are all in the stands and hopefully we’ll be back to that soon.”

The back-end of the 2020/21 campaign saw Lane slotting in at outside centre, where he featured prominently during his younger years.

The former Cardiff Schools back wants to use momentum from his summer experience with Wales to help his home club achieve their targets, as he aims to put a string of injuries behind him.

“Collectively we want to target the top six. We want to play top flight rugby and that’s always our target,” added the Welsh international.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve probably under-achieved with the squads we’ve had but from being in training over the last week or so it looks like we’re starting to play some good rugby.

“Hopefully we can achieve that top six and be back where we belong. 

“From a personal point of view, the first target is to get back into the starting team here. The boys are looking good in pre-season.

“Aled [Summerhill] and Jason [Harries] are both looking strong while we’ve also got Josh [Adams] to come back in as well as all the young wings we’ve got in the squad. 

“First of all I want to earn that starting spot here and then, as I’ve said before, I had some nice taste of international rugby in the summer so hopefully I can put my hand up and get my name in a few squads.

“I want to get a starting place for Wales too, which is going to be difficult with the back three they’ve got at the moment, but form will dictate that so hopefully I can play well enough.

“Competition breeds success and hopefully the pressure we put on each other will improve performances.

“Whether I play on the wing or at 13 here, I honestly don’t mind. I just want to be in the team.

“So wherever they think I’ll be useful, hopefully I can be.”