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LV= Cup preview: Cardiff Blues v Scarlets

After a senior debut to remember, Garyn Smith is licking his lips at the prospect of welcoming the Scarlets to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night.

The Blues kicked off their LV= Cup campaign last weekend in dramatic style, overhauling a 14-point half-time deficit at Newcastle Falcons to win 22-21.

Smith started the contest at outside centre and admitted it was one he will never forget – but attentions must now switch to an all-Welsh clash as Mark Hammett’s side seek to make it two wins from two and keep pace with Pool 2 leaders Northampton Saints.

“It will be good to have home advantage against Scarlets,” said the 19-year-old. “It’s a local derby, so everyone will be up for it.

“It’s about trying to go out there, show what we can do and get the win. It’s going to be my first time running out at Arms Park too, it’s absolutely massive and I can’t wait. I’m so excited. My whole family will be there watching.

“It’s always nice to get a win over your rivals, hopefully we can do that. It’s not been the best of starts in the league for the team but winning gives you confidence and we can build a bit of momentum for back in the league.

“When the international guys are away, it gives the younger boys a chance to get some experience and hopefully impress to earn a run in the team.”

An unconvincing start to their league campaign sees Cardiff lying ninth in the Pro12 with just one win from their opening seven games.

But victory in Newcastle has restored some faith. And, after Scarlets were well beaten at home to Northampton last Friday, it is they who need to overturn their hosts in Cardiff to keep their LV= Cup hopes alive.

However, Jordan Williams is not panicking – in fact the 21-year-old is already entertaining the idea of overtaking early pool leaders Leicester Tigers and wading into the knockout stages.

“We need a win this week with Leicester Tigers having won twice already,” he said. “But if we can beat Cardiff Blues then that will give us confidence to go on, then they become reachable.

“It’s difficult to know what to expect from Cardiff because there will be a few boys rested. They had a good win against Newcastle and I’m sure they will expect more of the same.

“We need to stick to our own game and put into practice what we have been working on week-by-week, developing more of a pattern to our play.

“It would be nice for a Welsh team to be in the final. It’s a difficult ask, but I think every club has the capability of doing it.”

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

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