Baber looks ahead to new season

Gareth Baber aims to challenge the Blues players ahead of the new season.

Speaking at the Vale of Glamorgan Training Centre, Cardiff Blues Backs Coach Gareth Baber, who along with Justin Burnell the Forwards Coach will lead the team into the forthcoming season said,

“Obviously the early part of any pre season is trying to get the players physically in the condition to be able to play the game we want to play, and certainly the first three or four weeks of pre season this summer was all about conditioning.”

“We’ve now pushed on more and more from the conditioning to the rugby side of things so when we are back in on Monday it will be a majority of rugby sessions followed by a training game against Cardiff RFC, before the pre season friendly matches against Pontypridd and Bath,” added Baber.

“This period of transition in the training is always a good time of the season because the players do so much work in the gym and field based conditioning that they want to get on and play.

“They tend to be addicts to playing the game, so a lot of our training has reflected that to get them up to the conditioning levels and the intensity that we want to play at.”

“We’ve welcomed back the Under 20’s from the Junior World Cup. They’ve reacted well coming back into the group and they’ve cracked on with our pre-season preperations.”

With a number of Blues players expected to be included in Warren Gatland’s Rugby World Cup squad, the friendly matches are an ideal chance for youngsters to impress the new coaching team.

“For the friendly matches we are obviously missing the international players but we have a healthy squad and in both friendly games we will be looking at different combinations and different players and seeing how they fit in to the style of rugby we want to play.”

“That will incorporate a lot of younger players as well who we will be relying on heavily during the start of the season. Post Rugby World Cup we want to be going into the League and Heineken Cup games in a good position and with a lot of momentum.”

Cardiff Blues Coaches Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell now have the chance to put their own stamp on the Blues side and Baber added,

“Obviously Dai has moved on and Justin and I have a slightly different view in the way we want to play the game, there are slightly different methods in ways of achieving the aims we want to.”

“We’re looking to challenge the players in other ways to improve their skills and decision making ability and we feel as coaches it’s our responsibility to challenge them and make sure they play a slightly different game.”

“Everybody thinks you can throw caution to wind and play a nice expansive game but you have to also balance that with constructing a game that is physical and direct.”

“We analyse a lot of teams and if you look at a team like Toulouse, they’ve got a big physical pack that create a lot of space for their backs by hammering down doors.”

“That will be part of our game as well but we will be challenging our players to find more width on the field and score more tries. We want to play with an element of flair and risk as well.”

Cardiff Blues supporters can now purchase tickets for the first home match of the 2010/11 season, when the Blues take on Bath, on Friday 19 August, 7.30pm kick off.

Tickets for the Cardiff Blues v Bath match cost only £10 for adults and £5 for juniors and seniors with family tickets, two adults and two juniors, costing only £12 in the Family stand.

The Cardiff Blues versus Bath match is included as part of the 2011/12 season ticket package which costs from as little as £165 for adults in the Family Stand. Supporters have until midnight on Sunday 31 July to purchase their season tickets and take advantage of the early bird discount.


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