Cuthbert has no fears over 'second season syndrome'
Wales star Alex Cuthbert insists he has no fears of falling to second season syndrome.
The Cardiff Blues wing enjoyed a meteoric rise last year and went from being an academy starlet to a vital member of the Grand Slam squad.
Opponents are likely to keep a much closer eye on Cuthbert this season but he is relishing the new season and is determined to improve his game.
"I don't believe in that at all," said Cuthbert.
"I'll just keep doing the same things I did last season.
"I need to improve my all-round game and international rugby is still new to me, I'm still a youngster. I need a bit more experience and I have loads to learn.
"I take nothing for granted, I just want to train hard and play well. I know there are plenty of others who want the shirt I am in at the moment, so I need a good start to the season."
Following a month's break from rugby after returning from Australia, Cuthbert is now well into his pre-season preparations with the Blues,
He is still disappointed with the 3-0 whitewash Wales conceded at the hands of the Wallabies but reckons they will learn from the experience.
"The summer tour was totally different to the Six Nations," said Cuthbert.
"The first game didn't go our way and we were unlucky to miss out in the second one.
"But I think the experience will do us good in the long term. It was a shame we didn't get a win but we have the autumn Tests coming up.
"We have no excuses for what happened on the tour though. We just took too long to adjust to what was needed."
But Cuthbert's immediate focus is with the Blues. He had been linked with lucrative moves abroad but penned a one-year deal in the capital
The Gloucester-born ace is convinced he made the right decision and has been enthused by the new regime under Phil Davies.
"It was a bit of a long process last season but I was glad to get it sorted and I'm looking forward to the new campaign," added Cuthbert.
"I'm just focusing on getting pre-season out of the way, I just want to be as fit as possible.
"A lot of things at the Blues have changed for the better and hopefully the hard work we have been getting through in the last few weeks is going to pay off.
"I would say it's a more professional set-up.
"Phil is a great coach, he's been at a number of clubs, and has brought his influence in and the boys have responded.
"Training is going well, we've got some new structures and probably a new culture as well.
"A lot of teams worked us out (last season) but I think we will have a few more plans this season, we'll be harder to work out and we'll be fitter. That will help us a lot at the end of the season when we tailed off last year.
"We have a young squad though and a lot of lads who want to make their mark this season.
"We have the hunger with people pushing for places, Harry Robinson is pushing me for example, and that keeps us all on our toes."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.