Thomas Young is eager to continue to build on his form and fitness for Cardiff, as he looks ahead to Saturday’s crucial home BKT United Rugby Championship derby with Dragons RFC (KO 5.15pm).
In January 2022, Young suffered a nasty neck injury during a European tie with Munster, which proved to be one of the back row’s final appearances in Wasps colours ahead of his move to Cardiff.
However, the openside has impressed in the seven jersey since returning to his home club over the summer, sitting amongst the league leaders for his defensive input, while also displaying a turn of pace to contribute to his side’s attack.
Determined to make up for lost time in recent months, Young said: “There’s still things that I can work on and I know what I’ve got to work on, but for me it’s about playing as much as I can.
“Before the summer I hadn’t played much rugby for a while so I’m getting back into the swing of things and hopefully the performances keep getting better.
“My focus is entirely on Cardiff and I know that if I take my eye off that then I won’t be playing here, with the competition we’ve got here as a squad.
“I’ve got to make sure that, when I get the opportunity to play for Cardiff, I play well, otherwise I won’t be playing. So my whole focus is on Cardiff at the moment.”
Having missed the home encounter with Emirates Lions through a niggle, Young was back last week as Cardiff secured a derby win over Scarlets in Llanelli.
With another derby on the horizon this Saturday, the back row wants to see his side backing up their win at Parc y Scarlets with another fierce performance against their east Wales rivals.
The Welsh international added: “As a team we showed our desire for most of the game and we knew we had to step up.
“That’s something we’re really pleased with but we’ve got to back it up again this week.
“We had a disappointing two weeks against Glasgow and Lions, having spoken after the Munster game about making sure that we’re consistent. But then performances weren’t where we want them to be.
“Being a derby on the weekend, we knew we had to step up and we’ll have to step up again this week.
“In fairness, over the last month the Dragons have shown what a decent team they are, but we’ve spoken a lot this week about our discipline.
“We didn’t have much ball last week, which was obviously partly down to Scarlets keeping hold of possession, but some of it was also down to our own indiscipline.
“So we’ve spoken about that this week and it’s something we’re looking to improve on.
“When it comes to derbies, everything goes out of the window so we’re expecting another tight game.
“We’re preparing well so we can try to put our mark down with the way we want to play. We know what strengths the Dragons have got, so it’s up to us to make sure we play the way we want to play and put our stamp on the game.
“It’s a big game for both teams. For us it’s obviously backing up what we’ve done last weekend, and again for the Dragons it’s a derby game. As I said earlier, everything goes out of the window and both teams will be out there to win.
“We’re playing at home and the fans we’ve got here are good. Hopefully they will make a lot of noise on the weekend and hopefully we put on a performance for them.”
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