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."
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.