It’s been a good start for us in the PRO14, the boys have done well in the last two weeks to beat two good sides in the Cheetahs and Benetton at the Parc.
Now it’s time for Europe, which is something new for me and hugely exciting.
There’s been a real spring in the step of the boys this week ahead of this evening’s match against London Irish.
I thought that Irish were strong against Leicester last weekend and All Black Waisake Naholo is up and running with a try in his first match for his new club. I met Les Kiss, Irish’s head coach, earlier in the year; he came out to Christchurch and spent a bit of time out there and I am looking forward to seeing him again and his group of coaches and players this weekend.
I was asked by the media this week whether we are targeting the Challenge Cup.
My answer is that we target every game. We target every training, we target every meeting, we want to win every moment and that’s our plan. It’s not about working out play-offs or the desired finishing position, it’s about winning the moments and making sure we’re better today than yesterday.
It might sound like a broken record from me but that’s genuinely how we operate. I think it is setting us up well and we’re enjoying the ride. It doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable, we have some good conversations, we’re challenging each other and that is all part of getting better, growing and evolving. But our focus is on the day and making sure that we put a performance on that befits the jersey, the club and the supporters.
You will have heard the news this week that Jon Fox and Patch need operations on the injuries they picked up at the World Cup and we really feel for them both. But they will come out of it stronger and we’re looking forward to welcome them back and working with them through their rehab. They are both outstanding men and players and will continue to have a big influence on our group throughout the season.
It’s been great to welcome Sam Lousi and his family this week, although it hasn’t quite been sunshine weather to greet them here in Llanelli! How good is it to see the boys arriving and bringing their different cultures, attitudes and experiences to the group. You can see the difference in Tex Ratuva this week, he has started to impose himself around the group, been making friends and joining in on the banter. We wish Tex all the best for his Scarlets debut as well as young Jac Morgan, who comes into the match-day squad for the first time & Ryan Lamb who is also looking to get on the field at the Parc for the first time.
Enjoy the game and the start of what promises to be an exciting European journey.