Young will not play favourites
September 23, 2010
Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young has refused to play favourites with his fly-halves © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young has refused to build up the rivalry between Dan Parks and Ceri Sweeney as the fly-halves look to stake a claim for their opening Heineken Cup fixture against Edinburgh.
Scotland international Parks was the region's big summer signing and started their first two Magners League games of the season, picking up the Man of the Match award in round one, but Sweeney fired a shot of his own with a creative performance against the Dragons last weekend.
The Blues have been tipped in certain quarters as dark horses for European glory and Young will not allow media speculation about the No.10 jersey impact negatively on his squad.
"What I am not going to do is build up this rivalry, the media are doing a good enough job of that," he told The South Wales Echo. "I want two quality players in each position, which I have at 10, and I will pick what I see as the best option for any given game.
"I have always said come the Heineken Cup I will pick the best team containing players who are in form at the time. But up until then we have to use our squad. We have had a similar sort of thing with Martyn Williams and Sam Warburton in the past where a rivalry for a shirt is highlighted and it can affect players because they read it.
"So I don't want this to become an issue. If we want to achieve things it is the squad that will do it. Nobody is number one and nobody is number two. If you look at our squad we have stuck to our aim of making three or four changes every game. Doing that prevents tiredness which we know affects performances."
The Blues travel to face Benetton Treviso on Friday but must tackle the high-flying Italians, who defeated Leinster last weekend, without No.8 Xavier Rush. The former All Black is out with a knee strain, while Casey Laulala will sit the game out following a bang to the head against the Dragons. Wales lock Bradley Davies will be rested.
Red cards, Samu Manoa, free-flowing Bath, improving Falcons and long-term gains - it's the Monday Maul
Greg Growden stares into his crystal ball to see what rugby 2015 has in store for us. Tongue in cheek? Maybe. Maybe not. We think much may come to pass
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics