Steven Shingler insists he is out to impress as he lines-up at outside half in the Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against London Irish tonight (KO 7.45pm).
Following injury and competition from youngster Jarrod Evans for the number 10 jersey, Friday’s clash will be Shingler’s first home start in a Cardiff Blues jersey since November’s match against Ospreys.
Shingler played the full 80-minutes during last week’s defeat to Leicester Tigers, and the 26-year-old believes it is crucial that his team learn the lessons from Welford Road ahead of a tough challenge at home.
“I’m looking forward to having another opportunity on Saturday and hopefully I can force myself back into that team,” said Shingler.
“If you look at the team we’ve put out on Friday, it’s experienced and we have an added onus to carry on the home form leading into the Cheetahs game.
“We’re out of the Anglo-Welsh Cup but we’re playing for personal pride and trying to get into form.
“The Anglo-Welsh Cup is a competition for people with very different individual goals and this week has more of a senior squad.
“Last time I started a game was probably before November, so it was a long time coming but I was blowing quite hard by the end of the 80 minutes.
“Our discipline wasn’t great in the first 10 to 15 minutes, we conceded a yellow card and then we seemed to turn a corner.
“We managed to put ourselves within five points up in Welford Road, having given them a 17-point head start and we were in the game.
“Starting the game well will be a big focus point this week and our form recently has been good at the Arms Park so we’re looking forward to it.”
After representing Wales under-20 in the 2011 Junior World Championship at Italy, Shingler made a switch from home-club Scarlets to London Irish, going on to spend two seasons with the Exiles before returning to West Wales.
The outside half has fond memories of his time at Reading and is looking forward to catching up with former team-mates.
Shingler said: “London Irish are a good outfit and we all know that the Aviva Premiership is very fiercely contested.
“Coming up from the Championship, they’ve signed a lot of players and are now getting used to their systems much better than they were at the start of the year.
“They’ll be in a very similar position to us in terms of getting ready for a return to their next league game.
"I loved it down there. It was a great two years and made a lot of good friends over there.
“Many of them are actually part of the coaching set-up now so it will be good to see them again.
“It’s a brilliant club and I wish them all the best in the Premiership, but not so much on Friday.
“I played for London Irish against Cardiff Blues down at the Cardiff City Stadium [in 2011] and I had a brief stint of 19 minutes before I was shown a red card!”