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Robin ready to shine in the RaboDirect PRO12

Guinness PRO12 Editor

22 Mar 2012

An Irishman poised to join a Welsh club from an English side, Robin Copeland is proof of the international flavour of the RaboDirect PRO12.

After a string of fine performances for Rotherham Titans in the Championship, the 24-year-old flanker is set to sign a deal to join the Cardiff Blues next season.

Andre Bester’s Rotherham side have been one of the surprise packages in the Championship and Copeland has been at the forefront, with the only try in their crucial play-off win at Leeds last Sunday.

And while the dynamic flanker insists he has learned a lot from his time at Clifton Lane, he admits he can’t wait to line up alongside some of the Welsh Grand Slam heroes in the capital.

He said: “I really want to have a positive impact. It’s going to be pretty incredible to play alongside world-class players like Sam Warburton and Jamie Roberts so I’m just quite pleased to get the chance to play down there.

“I can’t wait to get going, to get down there and show what I can do.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the difference to what I’ve known at Rotherham and in England in general. It’s going to be brilliant.

“It’s one of those opportunities, when they come up you can’t just say no.

“I’ll have to wait and see exactly what I can bring to the team, but there are some top quality players with the Blues so hopefully I can pick up a lot from them.

“It’s a league I have been watching fairly closely, and it will be great to actually get out there and play.”

Mirroring the international game, Copeland has been used to a more attritional style of play in England, and he admits he will have to adapt to the quicker pace of the RaboDirect PRO12.

But rather than worry about the speed of the game at his new club, Copeland is confident he will be able to find his feet quickly in the Principality.

He added: “I know I need to be a bit more physical but I’m looking forward to the slightly faster game in Wales. It might be a little bit more suited to the game I like to play, although I have managed to adapt fairly well to the English game.

“It’s going to be a different style and a different level to what I’ve known before but I think my time in the Championship has definitely improved me as a player.

“I don’t find that there are too many nerves about going, it’s more excitement to play with some very good players and hopefully make an impact once I arrive.”