Blues second row Paul Tito has revealed Wasps lock Simon Shaw is his inspiration.
Paul Tito has revealed London Wasps veteran Simon Shaw is his inspiration.
Cardiff Blues skipper Tito faces a head-to-head battle with lock Shaw in Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final.
And New Zealander Tito claims the evergreen England star spurs him and the next generation of second-rows onto personal glory.
Tito said: "Simon is an inspiration to myself and other players in our position as we get older.
"He is 36 but still seems to be getting stronger and stronger.
"The fact he started a couple of British Lions Test matches last summer says everything about the man. And he was awesome too.
"He's a big lump and a bit of a freak - the Guinness Premiership suits him well.
"He gets around the field, does a lot of work and I'm looking forward to a good battle.
"But I'd like to state that I never want to still be playing when I reach the age of 36."
While Shaw is on a mission to become the first player in European rugby to win four winner's medals, Wasps' Anglo-Welsh opponents aim to banish the painful memories of the heart-breaking Heineken Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Leicester Tigers.
Tito was sidelined with a rib injury only ten minutes into the dramatic clash at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium a year ago.
But the Kiwi insists he would have triumphed where Martyn Williams so cruelly failed in sudden-death, prompting a rule change by tournament organisers ERC.
Tito added: "I'm glad the authorities have changed the rules and I'm sure it will be better for the game. I watched the replay of it and you think, how did a game of rugby come down to that?
"I did my ribs and had to come off otherwise I would have been taking a kick before 'Nugget' (Martyn Williams). I think I would have been successful too although I'm sort of glad I didn't have to take one.
"Forwards aren't supposed to get kicks through the posts and I'm sure if it was Ben Blair or Ceri Sweeney missing rather than Martyn, they would have taken it more to heart.
"But I played golf with Martyn on Monday and he can fluke most things so I was surprised he didn't fluke that kick too.
"Last year's semi-final was a great occasion for everyone and it was one of the best games I've ever been involved in. The climax and excitement was unreal. It wasn't nice to lose in that way but all the neutral supporters told me it was the best game of rugby they had ever seen.
The Blues travel to Adams Park in red-hot form on the back of five successive wins.
Tito said: "We are peaking and I don't think too many teams would be lining up to face us. We've beaten Newcastle but we know Wasps will be a massive task for us.
"There's very little between the teams in these do-or-die matches and I expect it will be no different on Saturday. We played Toulouse in the Heineken Cup quarter-final last year and there was nothing in it and the same happened against Leicester in the semi-final.
"You only get two or three opportunities and you have to grab them with both hands because you won't get another against such a good defence in Wasps. We have to start well and maintain our form from the last two months. We'll have to bring our A-game to win the tie."
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'.