Cardiff Blues outside half Ceri Sweeney will reach the landmark 100 games for the region when he lines up against Toulon this Sunday.
Sweeney is no stranger to facing the French powerhouse team, having been on the winning side when the Blues famously beat them in their backyard, claiming a 28-21 victory in the 2010 Amlin Cup final. He looks likely to face World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson again who also featured on that day.
Speaking of the landmark, Sweeney said,
“It’s a great thing to get one hundred caps for the Blues. It’s taken four years but it’s been a great ride."
Having constantly battled for the Number 10 shirt the Pontypridd Youth Team product is now facing up to competition from younger prospects at the Blues.
“Its part and parcel of professional rugby nowadays.
“The belief in my own ability one of the things I pride myself on and I think it’s stood me in good stead over the years.
“It’s coming up to almost fifteen years now and I have stood the test of time.”
Sweeney made his debut for Wales against England in the Six Nations Championship in 2003, and played in three Rugby World Cup games later that year. He joined the Blues in the summer of 2008 from the Dragons and has been one of the most consistent performers.
“Touch wood, there’s a bit of luck there to go so long without any major injury, my only problem was when I was down at the Dragons with my groin but I took care of that over the summer.
“I take care of all the fitness stuff and the stretching, doing a lot of kicking, I stay quite flexible and I think that has helped over the years keeping on top of recovery and generally looking after myself. It keeps me going.
“Over the last year we have lost eight world-class players, there’s been four All Blacks gone and some British Lions, there is a huge turnaround at the moment.
“Looking forward, in the region we are seeing a lot of young boys being asked to step up to the plate, the last couple of weeks especially we haven’t seen the best of it.
“The experience they are getting at this level, being pushed by Phil and the coaches, they’re not used to being in these situations, it’s a building process at the Blues at the moment. Gathering the experience so we can bring these boys through. They’re learning every game and that’s the most important thing.
“The facilities here are world class, we have everything we need to be successful. Looking into the future that’s what it’s all about in the region, just trying to get everyone behind us and that pushes us to try and make it.”
Tickets for the Cardiff Blues v Toulon match, Sunday 21 October, 12.45pm kick off, are available online at www.cardiffblues.com/tickets starting at £18 for an adult terrace ticket.