Smart confident of Millennium victory

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Swansea University men’s rugby 1sts captain Richard Smart believes his side will be victorious in their Varsity encounter against Cardiff at the  Millennium Stadium on May 2.

Swansea have enjoyed success in recent years at the Varsity event, winning 16-12 at the Liberty Stadium in 2010 and 28-18 in the inaugural game at the Millennium Stadium last year.

Last season’s win capped a fantastic season for Swansea, who finished second in Premier South A division.

But their fortunes have changed this season as Swansea have been plagued by poor performances and results to match, picking up just 15 points in 12 games and finishing fifth.

In contrast, newly-promoted Cardiff finished third in the same league with 21 points.

And to add further Swansea’s misery in the league this year, Cardiff did the double over them 18-13 and 25-12.

But Smart still feels that Swansea will come out on top in the Varsity finale.

“I believe there is a strong chance for us to win,” he said.

“The boys have to take the opportunity now and put in the hard work that is needed to win such a big game.”

Smart feels the delicate blend between experience and youth will be the key recipe for the squad ahead of the varsity clash.

“This year we have a squad with experience.” he added: “The boys have previous varsity caps but we also have some good, fresh talent coming through.”

Smart thinks the biggest hurdle for his side is to overcome is his team’s fitness ahead of the clash at the home of Welsh rugby.

“We just need to keep working on fitness,” he said.

“The pace of the Varsity game is the quickest we face all season, so you can never do too much fitness for it.”

Swansea have sought further help in preparation for Varsity with the appointment of former Ospreys head coach Sean Holley.

When speaking to AU Media, Holley said: “I have the upmost respect for Richard Lancaster [head coach] and Steve Mallalieu [back’s coach].

“It’s quite a big preparation time to the Varsity and they’ll be looking for some type of experience to give them an edge.”

Holley added: “I’m more than happy to try and bring that.”

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