Danny Wilson has paid tribute to the Cardiff City football team following their promotion to the Premier League, as Cardiff Blues aim to cap off a memorable sporting season for the capital city.
The Blues travel to Bilbao to face Gloucester in the European Challenge Cup final on Friday, having already secured a return to next season’s Champions Cup.
Meanwhile, Neil Warnock’s side secured their place in the top tier of English football on Sunday, while the city’s ice hockey team, Cardiff Devils, were also the Elite League Champions this season.
With Cardiff Blues and Cardiff City sharing training facilities at the Vale of Glamorgan resort, Wilson was delighted to see the football side’s achievements and is keen to add to the feel-good-factor around the region.
“It was a fantastic achievement for Cardiff City to achieve promotion to the Premier League. We see these guys on a daily basis around the training ground,” said Wilson.
“They watch a lot of our games and we watch a lot of their games, and we’ve got a good relationship. It was fantastic to see them achieve their goals.
“They play two games a week and put in a huge amount of work in the week and we see the commitment they put into it.
“For us to be back in the Champions Cup as well, gives us our first achievement and now we want to go one step further and see if we can win some silverware.
“It’s great for Cardiff to have two teams in top-tier competitions next season.”
The Cardiff Blues head coach is expecting an entertaining encounter at San Mames Stadium on Friday, and believes there will be plenty of open and positive rugby on display.
Wilson said: “Both of us have got really x-factor players, both of us will try to play some rugby and it will make for a really exciting game.
“We have a reputation of turning the ball over and coming alive from that turn over. Both teams have got strength, and both teams will try to put their imprint on the game on Friday.
“You can’t get too romantic about it and be all-things to all-men. We won’t be a million-miles away from our DNA, and Gloucester will be the same. There are certain elements to our game that we want to put in place to beat what is a very well-drilled and well-coached Gloucester team.
“Looking at Gloucester, they like to play a huge amount of rugby. They have an identity that has been put in place this year. They like to play from deep, they look for quick line-outs and have a real tempo to their rugby.
“It’s a style that you might not traditionally see week-in, week-out from teams in the Aviva Premiership. It has major pluses, as we’ve seen with the amount of tries they’ve scored, but there are also risks and gamble attached to that as well.
“They will be mad for a European final, as we all are, and will be well-prepared and emotionally in a place that they will be bouncing to try to turn us over.
“But we’re in that same place for these big games. They’re the games that we want to be part of and we’re massively looking forward to it.
“We’ve been training really well this week. The weather has probably made a big difference, and I don’t remember having a training week as nice as this here this season. We’re looking forward to the weekend.”