The Cardiff Blues summer tour kicked off in style this weekend when they visited Parti Ponty at Ynys Angharad Park in Pontypridd on Saturday.
Blues stars Rhys Williams, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Duane Goodfield and Nicky Robinson were the special guests and the Rugby World Cup was also on display for rugby fans to have their photographs taken with the prestigious trophy.
Speaking at the event Robin Sowden-Taylor said,
Im disappointed not to be in the Rugby World Cup squad but its nice to have the trophy here and hopefully it will stay in Wales for the next four years.
I had my targets for the Cardiff Blues this season and the main goal in being in the starting XV for the next world cup.
The beginning of the season will hopefully be a big chance for me and Rhys Shellard to prove what we can do and put as much pressure on Martyn as possible, because I dont think my international career is going to really kick off until Im starting week in week out for the Blues
Pre season training has been pretty intense over the last few weeks but its been very varied. Weve been to Rest Bay in Porthcawl for beach runs and up to Castell Coch for hill runs which has been very gruelling. Its keeping the boys fresh and were looking forward to the start of the season.
Its great to see the youngsters and having the World Cup here as well draws people to the Cardiff Blues stand which is obviously great for the Blues and helps them to promote themselves. Said Robin Sowden-Taylor
Nick Robinson was also pleased with how the day went and looking forward to taking on some of the best tams in Europe in the new season.
Its great for us to be able to visit and support these events. Weve had a great reception from our supporters and look forward to seeing them down at the Arms Park next season. And of course were playing against Pontypridd in early August in a friendly match.
Pre season training is going well; we had beach runs this morning and have hills runs on Thursday in addition to the other fitness and rugby training that were doing. Were all looking forward to the next season after challenging so strongly in the Magners League last season. We also have tough matches in our Heineken Cup and EDF Groups but we have to test ourselves against the best teams. Said Robinson
As well as meeting players hundreds of youngsters had the opportunity to be coached by Nicky, Rhys Robin and Duane as well as Blues Development Officers Ben Rose and Adrian Evans.
The coaches and the children all enjoyed themselves. The Blues players always help push the message in the community so its always good to see the players making the effort to attend in Pontypridd the gateway to the Valleys.
Pontypridd RFC players were also attending and I think having a strong relationship with Pontypridd is sure to help the Blues, said Ben Rose.
Adrian Evans, Blues Development Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taff was also pleased with the event.
I think its been a terrific day and certainly the message that were one region is spreading around the area and we always get positive response from Blues involvement in anything we do up here, added Adrian Evans.
There are a host of Festivals coming up over the summer and the Blues will be at the following events meeting the fans and coaching the rugby stars of the future.
The Blues hold an open coaching session in Taffs Well RFC on Monday evening at 6.30pm and attending the Tesco Kids Festival in Cardiff in a fortnight.
Monday 9 Open Coaching Night Taffs Well RFC
Sunday 22 Tesco Kids Festival Coopers Field, Caridff
23 26 Royal Welsh Show Showground, Builth Wells
Monday 30 Future Blues Summer Camp St Peters RFC
Thursday 2 Future Blues Summer Camp St Peters RFC
Sunday 5 Blues Family Fun Day Cardiff Arms Park
Monday 6 Future Blues Summer Camp Aberfan Leisure centre
Wednesday 8 Future Blues Summer Camp Aberfan Leisure centre
Saturday 15 Vale of Glamorgan Show Fonmon Caslte
Monday 20 Future Blues Summer Camp St Peters RFC
Thursday 23 Future Blues Summer Camp St Peters RFC
Monday 27 Merthyr Show Cyfarthfa Castle Merthyr