Hammett wary of Grenoble threat

Date published: October 15 2014

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett has urged his players to match the intensity Grenoble will bring in Saturday’s pool opener.

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett has urged his men to match the intensity Grenoble will bring in their pool opener on Saturday.

European Challenge Cup action awaits the Blues at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park as they look to bounce back from a poor run of PRO12 results.

But Grenoble are a strong side and currently sit in sixth position in the Top 14, with Hammett expecting a tough examination this weekend.

“Grenoble play with a real intensity and we have to match that, they are very unpredictable and French in that manner. They certainly like to play at speed, to interplay and link well,” he told the Blues website.

“They have big packs so if we try and get into a wrestling match up high we will struggle against them. It’s important in terms of our body position, the height at which you tackle and speed at which you get up. They are the critical factors against teams like Grenoble.

“We are working hard at our game but not clicking yet. Ultimately I’m more worried about us than Grenoble and focussing on what we do. We want the win and to get our team in shape.”

Hammett added that selection for the game would likely see a few changes from their recent defeat to the Ospreys as he manages his players’ workloads.

“We have got to manage the group and manage the workloads. You’ve also got to manage, as in every group, selection as you have positions that are tightly contested,” he added.

“If you look at Sam Hobbs and Gethin Jenkins, that is tightly contested. Matthew Rees and Kristian Dacey, Josh Turnbull and Macauley Cook, Sam Warburton and Josh Navidi, they are all very competitive positions.

“They are the challenges and the good ones in terms of keeping people fresh and competing for every position.”