Director of coaching David Young has responded to criticism in the local press of the travel arrangements of the Blues' squad this weekend and on other occasions so far this season.
Speaking at a specially convened media briefing at the Arms Park today Young said he was disappointed how some of the facts surrounding the away trips had been interpreted.
He said, "It is perfectly true that we are travelling to Munster this weekend via East Midlands and Cork Airports but there was no other practical alternative. Yes, there is a flight from Cardiff to Cork but that does not leave until Friday evening and we would not have reached our hotel in Limerick until the early hours of Saturday morning. That is not acceptable to us."
Young also responded to comments about earlier trips to Dublin and Edinburgh.
"When we went to Dublin last month the match was played on a Sunday evening, with no flight back that day unless the team had gone straight from the pitch to the airport in their playing kit. The choices on the Monday were a 7.00 am flight - that would have meant leaving our hotel before 5.00am - or a lunchtime departure. We chose the latter. As for the Edinburgh match a fortnight ago, the earliest flight on the Sunday was mid-afternoon. We took it, as did several Blues' supporters and a reporter who we managed to fit into our seating allocation instead of the late evening flight he was booked on."
Young also pointed out that it was now deliberate policy to have an early morning pool recovery session and video analysis and debrief before returning home, otherwise the team would have to reconvene immediately upon their return to address these points.
On the subject of arranging charter flights as in seasons past he said, "Obviously charter flights can usually be tailor-made to suit our requirements better than scheduled flights but in the days when we did them there were two or at most three flights a season for European ties. Now with the Celtic League as well there are at least ten flights. To charter them would cost an extra £80,000 over a season and we simply don't have that sort of budget allocation. We are working efficiently within the budget."
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