I always wanted to stay here
Star hooker Kristian Dacey has put pen to paper on a new long-term contract to remain at Cardiff Blues.
Hot prospect Dacey is rated as one of the most exciting young talents in Welsh rugby after a stunning season in the Pro12 and European Cup.
The 24-year-old, currently second in the Pro12 try-scoring charts with four tries in eight games, has pledged his future to Blues by signing a new contract to remain at the Arms Park until at least 2017.
The Merthyr-born pack ace, who started his rugby in the Merthyr mini and junior section, has come through the ranks at Blues having started in the age groups.
Dacey, who has played a total of 37 appearances in all competitions for Blues, switched positions from flank to hooker in 2010 and made his competitive debut for the region later that year in a victory over Connacht at Cardiff City Stadium.
Director of Rugby Phil Davies was delighted to see his young front row agree new terms.
"Kristian has the potential to play for Wales in time and so we are very pleased that he has committed his future to the Blues,” said Davies.
"Over the last 18 months he has overcome his injury problems and that has really benefited his development.
"He has converted from flank to hooker and worked exceptionally hard. These last four or five months he has really started to develop at pace and he is a fantastic talent with the right attitude and ability to go all the way.
"We always want to keep our best young players at Blues and Kristian's signature is the latest part of that long-term plan. We look forward to making more positive announcements in the coming weeks.”
Dacey added: "It's been a fantastic season for me and signing the new contract is ideal as I can now look forward to my future being at Blues. I've come through the system here, played alongside my teammates for years and always wanted to stay here.
"I'm learning every time I play and my consistency is getting better now I'm putting games together. I've featured in eight of the last 10 games and feel I've got better with every game.
"Ultimately my ambition is to play international rugby and get even better. Blues is the right environment for me to achieve those aims.
"We have an exciting backroom team in place, with the likes of Chief [Dale McIntosh] and Johnsy [Paul John] who I worked with during my Pontypridd days, and we are going in the right direction.
"The Blues want to keep the best young players together and push forward as one. I'm excited by the path we are heading in as a region and the future.”