Macauley Cook is desperate to nail down a starting place under new Cardiff Blues boss Mark 'The Hammer' Hammett
The former All Black hooker takes the reigns at the BT Sport Arms Park tonight when English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs visit the capital for a pre-season friendly.
"We all want will want to impress on Friday and we have got to look forward to working with Mark," said Cook. "We know he will be here on Friday and we've heard a lot of good things about him and he has done a top job in New Zealand."
Dale McIntosh and Paul John steered the Blues to a seventh placed PRO12 finish last season after they engineered four wins from the region's last seven games. And the new-look Blues are looking to continue their revival against Zebre when the sides meet in the league opener on Sunday, September 7.
"We have two really good coaches here in Dale McIntosh and Paul John who have done a great job all pre-season. We have a lot of new boys this season and they have fitted in really well. That is credit to the structure and environment we have here," added Cook.
"We have a big squad and hopefully, if all goes well, we can pull off some good results and go well."
Cook's performances earned him a place in the Wales possibles team for the International trial match last season.
He did not make the touring party but the former Wales Under-20 captain has won the first battle for the Blues number six shirt after he was named in the starting lineup for Friday's warm up match.
"Josh Turnbull coming in is a bonus for the squad and the team. He is a great player and I watched him over the summer and he did well in South Africa," said Cook.
"I'm going to thrive on the challenge of getting the six jersey and I know he will do the same. We will push each other and that is a positive."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.