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Turnbull eager to strengthen home fortress

13th May 2016

After winning the Peter Thomas Player of the Season award, Josh Turnbull has called on Cardiff Blues to rebuild their home fortress.

Danny Wilson’s men won 80 per cent of their Guinness PRO12 matches at BT Sport Arms Park this season.

As a result of the home form and the attractive style of play Wilson has developed, attendances have also been on the up.

And Turnbull wants to see that continue and improve to build more bumper crowds on Cardiff Blues’ home patch.

He said: “We are slowly building a strong BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. 

“It was a little bit disappointing because two of the games at home, against Glasgow and Leinster, we could have easily won - it was a point in it against Leinster. 

“But we want to make it a tough place for teams to come to and the crowds have been getting better which is testament to the way we have been playing. 

“We want to continue seeing that crowd grow because they are massive to the Cardiff Blues region.

“People want to come and watch Cardiff Blues because we play attractive rugby but we know there are key areas we need to work on.”

Turnbull beat off competition from Ellis Jenkins, Rhys Patchell and Dan Fish to scoop the top award at National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.

It was just rewards for a season in which he has made 25 appearances and pulled on the number four, five, six, seven and eight jerseys.

The former Scarlets has been more than happy with his form and reckons the collective progression seen this season can drive the region on.

He continued: “It’s been a better season for me personally and as a group. We have all been playing well and we have slowly seen the progression we’ve made since Danny (Wilson) has come in and that’s the direction we want to keep heading. 

“It was good to finish with a win against Edinburgh, even though we have missed out on Champions Cup rugby, we have started changing the perceptions of people outside of this group and show we’re capable of winning games.

“It’s really attractive and for someone like myself who likes to run with a lot of ball in hand, it’s great. 

“The half-backs are dictating play and enjoying it because they’re finding there’s a lot more space and they attack in phases.

“There’s a few work ons in defence and we will then start moving up the table.

“The signings that have been made are very good, they will come in and strengthen the group already here. 

“We need to get them up to speed as quickly as possible and playing our brand of rugby but in their way to improve the group.”

Turnbull will now link up with Wales ahead of the Twickenham clash with England and a three Test tour of New Zealand.

He added: “It’s a great opportunity to go out to New Zealand and fingers crossed I can get some game time. 

“There’s massive competition in the back five of the pack so it will not be an easy job but the hard work starts now.”