Blog Banner

Young challenges Cardiff to make a statement in Limerick

First Team News | 26th May 2021

Dai Young has challenged his side to make a statement as they prepare for a crucial Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash against Munster at Limerick on Friday.

Following back-to-back derby victories over Dragons and Scarlets, Cardiff remain in contention for a place in the cross-hemisphere final in June.

They travel to Ireland on Friday seeking their first away win over Munster since 2016, when a Tom James brace inspired the capital club to victory in Cork.

However, having never won at Thomond Park, Young wants his side to embrace the challenges ahead in Limerick.

“Munster are formidable at home, and we’ve only won out there once over the last five years, and never achieved that in Limerick itself,” said the director of rugby.

“As I told the players, it’s a fantastic challenge and would be a fantastic way to make a bit of noise. 

“If we’re looking for a statement to show we’re going in the right direction, this is a great place to go get that statement.

“Obviously Munster will have a big say in that. I read Graham’s [Rowntree] comments this week about how this is a do or die match for them. They know that they need to win if they are to qualify.

“So to go out there and get a result would be huge for us. History tells us we don’t do it too often, but it’s important that we’re starting to meet these challenges head on.”

With Young eager to take a closer eye on his wider squad, a total of 37 Cardiff Blues players have featured in the opening three games, including two debutants in Ellis Bevan and teenager Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

While the director of rugby is pleased to have achieved those objectives, he admits that his side are hungry to make a charge for a potential place in the final.

“Of course you always want to win tournaments. Was that our main goal heading into it? No it wasn’t,” added the former Cardiff, Wales and Lions prop.

“But we always want to win as many games as possible. In the first two games, there was a clear direction for what I wanted, which was giving as many people in the squad a game that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see in the previous months.

“That was the focus for the first two games, but as we’ve moved out of that we’ve looked at picking near our best 23 that’s available to us.

“Now we’ve got to this point, this is a massive game for us. We know that we need to get to Munster and get a result if we want to be in the mix for a place in the final heading into the last game.

“It still might not be enough but if we could qualify for a final it would be a big shot in the arm. But it probably wasn’t 100 per cent the focus heading into the competition, if we’re honest.”