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Youngster Millard making his mark at the Arms Park

29th January 2019

One of Cardiff Blues' breakthrough stars this season has been Harri Millard, who took his European opportunities with both hands and is pressing his claim for a permanent spot in John Mulvihill's midfield.

Since the start of the campaign, the dynamic centre has already amassed more than double his tally of Guinness PRO14 appearances, taking his total to nine, and has impressed in both attack and defence.

The former Wales under 20 international - who was part of the 2016 Grand Slam winning squad - was handed his Heineken Champions Cup debut in December, coming up against a star-studded Saracens side at Allianz Park.

In-form Millard is thriving in the senior environment, playing alongside a group of his childhood friends, and the centre is excited at the opportunities he’s had at the Arms Park.

“The last few weeks has been great for me. I’ve had a few starts for the side and we’ve been playing some good rugby,” said the centre.

“It’s even more special to be playing alongside friends - the likes of Jarrod Evans and Owen Lane - and it’s great because they’re backing me to use my skills.

“We’re working as a cohesive group and there is around five or six of us who came through the age grade and college sides together and grew up with each other.

“We’re best mates and spend time in each other’s company on most days - whether that’s at training or going for food or coffee.

“We know each other inside-out, but we’re a tight group throughout the whole squad.

“I don’t think you can ever feel settled in a squad, because there will always be boys that will keep you on your toes, especially with the likes of Rey and Willis around.

“But you also try to learn from players like that, and I’m certainly relishing the opportunity to do that at the moment. They’re quality players, and we have that throughout the squad at the moment.

“It’s not just about learning from guys in your position. For example, I am always learning from our number tens, our scrum-halves, the wings. You look to feed off everyone around you.

“We have a quality coaching staff, and I’m still young in my career so there is plenty to learn every day.

“However, hopefully over the next few years I can establish myself as a first team player at Cardiff Blues.”

Millard certainly got people talking following the European defeat to Glasgow Warriors earlier this month - crossing for his first senior try for his home region, while also setting up a score for Josh Navidi.

However, this time last year, the youngster was picking up valuable experience with the Wales Sevens side, competing on the international circuit.

Millard also travelled to Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games, which was an unforgettable experience for the centre.

"I benefitted a lot from Sevens, both on and off the field. It's a great platform for developing some core skills, and I feel it's certainly added a lot to my attacking game, with my footwork and agility. 

“You also learn a lot about the travel side of the game and how to look after yourself off the field to make sure your performance peaks on game-day.

“I was lucky enough to go with the Sevens to the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast last year, which was an unbelievable experience.

“We had a real quality squad out there, with boys like Justin Tipuric, Hallam Amos and Luke Morgan involved, who are obviously established international players.

“It was a great experience for myself, a great group of boys to be involved with, but it was also interesting to see watch some of the other sports competing at the highest level.”