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Blues: Who stays and who goes

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 10:29
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New coaching arrivals
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Cardiff Blues will welcome a mix of experienced and promising youngsters to their 2013/14 squad.

Having recently won the European Cup with Toulon, Gethin Jenkins will rejoin the region following the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

A hugely experienced player Jenkins has played 98 times for Wales, five B&I Lions caps and 125 for the Blues.

Jenkins will be joined in the front row by his 2009 Lions front row partner Matthew Rees with both experienced players bolstering the Blues' front row options for the new season.

Rees has played 58 Tests for Wales and also three tests for the Lions.

Richard Smith has been offered a full-time contract at the Blues. The strong running centre made his match winning Blues debut against Munster in January 2013, partnering Jamie Roberts in the centre.

A regular for Wales Sevens, Smith got his first taste of the abbreviated version of the game in  2011, where he played for Wales in three of the four legs of the FIRA series - in Bucharest, Barcelona and Moscow.

He previously played for Neath in 2009/10 before spending a season in Australia playing for Brisbane Bulldogs and then joining Cardiff RFC.

There are six players who have graduated from the Blues Academy to the senior Cardiff Blues squad.

Ellis Jenkins, this seasons Blues Academy Player of the Year and Wales Under-20 captain moves up to the seniors. The openside is joined by fellow Wales Under-20 squad member Thomas Pascoe.

Cardiff RFC back row forward Ben Roach and Pontypridd and Wales Under-18 centre/fullback Aled Summerhill also join the senior squad along with fullback/flyhalf Will Thomas.

Cardiff Blues have strengthened their relationship with Cardiff Met by signing young second row prospect Miles Normandale. A product of Marlwood School in Bristol, Miles Normandale then attended Colston School for sixth form before moving to Cardiff Met to study.

Speaking of the players Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby Phil Davies said: "I'm hugely excited be the new arrivals from the experienced Gethin Jenkins and Matthew Rees to the youngsters we have coming through.

"Players like Ellis Jenkins, Tom Pascoe, Ben Roach, Aled Summerhill, Will Thomas and Richard Smith who have all come through our pathway.

"They are exciting youngsters who I look forward to working with them as we continue to develop."

Players arriving: Gethin Jenkins (from Toulon), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Richard Smith (Cardiff RFC/Wales Sevens), Miles Normandale (Blues Academy), Aled Summerhill (Blues Academy), Ben Roach (Blues Academy), Ellis Jenkins (Blues Academy), Tom Pascoe (Blues Academy), Will Thomas (Blues Academy).

Players departing: Jamie Roberts (to Racing Metro), Ceri Sweeney (Exeter Chiefs), Tom James (Exeter Chiefs), Michael Paterson (Sale Sharks), Jason Tovey (Newport Gwent Dragons), Campese Ma'afu (Nottingham), Ryan Harford (Cardiff RFC), Nathan Trevett (London Welsh), Matthew Screech (Newport Gwent Dragons), Darren Harries (Scarlets), Jake Cooper Wooley (London Wasps), Cory Hill (Cornish Pirates), Petru Tamba (Unattached), Andi Kyriacou (retired).

Coaching arrivals: Andi Kyriacou, Dale McIntosh, Mark Ring.

Coaching departure: Xavier Rush

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