Kirby Myhill believes there is plenty of reasons for optimism as Cardiff Rugby prepare to kick off their 2021/22 season later today.
The hooker will captain the Blue and Blacks as they take on English champions, Harlequins, at Twickenham Stoop in the first of a double-header of Anglo-Welsh pre-season fixtures.
While Myhill acknowledges the quality of the backline at the Arms Park, he is excited by the prospects in the front row, who continue to develop and gain experiences at the highest level.
The former Wales under 20 skipper said: “People always say we’ve got a good set of backs, but I think we’re strong all the way through to be honest.
“You look at the younger boys coming through in the front row like Domachowski, Carré and Assiratti. There’s loads of young boys coming through.
“There’s depth throughout the squad, we’re in a really good place and I feel like it’s going to be a good year for us.
“People forget how young these boys are, still in their early twenties, and most front rowers don’t play at the highest level until they’re 26, 27 or 28.
“They’re still young, they’re still learning their trade and I feel like they’ll kick on this year to have a really good year.”
After weeks of grafting on the training field, Dai Young’s side head back into action at the Stoop, with the opening United Rugby Championship clash on September 24 in their sights.
Myhill says the clash against Quins will be an opportunity for boys to make an early claim in the race for selection.
“The boys are busting for it. It’s the same for all the boys who are playing in this first game - it’s a chance to put a marker down,” added the hooker.
“First game and a first chance to put that marker down to keep the jersey. It will probably be a different team next week, and that will be their chance.
“It’s felt like quite a long pre-season so boys just want to get into the games now. We’ve had enough of all the running!
“Pre-season has been a lot different this year, and training has been more specific to what it has been over the last couple of years.
“We’ve had three groups, which are work capacity, power and speed. I’ve been in that power group alongside the other back row and hookers, your ball carriers.
“We did a block of two weeks with a lot of running at the start, but we’re now into more power stuff and it’s been good.”