Cardiff Blues' Sam Warburton wants fortress Arms Park

Sam Warburton

Cardiff Blue flanker Sam Warburton is determined to turn Cardiff Arms Park into a fortress this season.

The Welsh region lost six of their 14 home games at the Cardiff City Stadium last term but have now returned to their former ground in the city centre.

Blues play a last friendly on Saturday at home to Worcester, then start their season at Connacht on 1 September.

"We want a really good home record this year, make it a really difficult place for the opposition," Warburton said.

"Hopefully now we can make it a fortress for this season and that starts really against Worcester."

The Wales captain grew up supporting the Blues at the Arms Park but had little opportunity to play there before the region moved to grounds hare with the city's football team.

The Blues moved to the Cardiff City Stadium in 2009 but rugby crowds at the ground in the Cardiff suburb of Leckwith have been disappointing.

In February the Blues moved two games to the Arms Park and then negotiated a release from their long-term deal with Cardiff City Football Club.

"I've only had two games at the Arms Park, right at the end of the season before we moved to the City Stadium," Warburton added.

"I used to have a season ticket down there as a kid so it's a very special place for me and I'm really looking forward to playing back there again."

A packed international fixture list last season, that included the World Cup in New Zealand and a three-Test tour to Australia, plus suffering nerve damage in his shoulder curtailed Warburton's appearances for his region.

But the 23-year-old open-side is hoping he will make a lot more appearance in Blues colours this season.

"We always want to play for the Blues. You get picked for international games due to your form with the region," Warburton said.

"Obviously last year was unusual with the World Cup, I'd like to think that we'll play a lot more games for the region this year and we definitely feel that we owe the region more performances.

"All the international guys will be really hoping that we do get on the pitch... for a lot of the boys it's injuries permitting really, if we stay fit then we can have a good long season with club and country."

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