Cardiff Blues are preparing for their first pre-season friendly at Worcester on Friday evening with a training camp in the Midlands.
Director of coaching David Young took the Blues' squad yesterday (Monday) to a sports complex where they will spend five days ahead of the big kick-off.
The 33 players in the party included new signings Nathan Budgett, Tristan Davies, Shaun James, Martin Jones, Mark Lewis, Matthew Nuthall, Robert Sidoli, Lee Thomas and Fereti Tuilagi. The only absentees are the national squad players who toured with Wales in June - Nick Robinson, Rhys Williams, Tom Shanklin, Gethin Jenkins and Deiniol Jones. None of the latter will play in Friday's opener.
A squad of 22-24 will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday) though several players at the training camp will have a watching brief. Dan Baugh, Robert Sidoli, Gareth Williams and Ryan Powell are among those reovering from injury while Rhys Thomas is completing a suspension period that ends next month.
The match at Worcester kicks-off at 7.30pm. On Saturday 28 August the Blues play Leicester Tigers at Welford Road, kick-off 3.00pm.