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Bowen follows Emanuel back to Blue and Black

First Team News | 27th February 2024

Cardiff Rugby have secured the return of second exciting youngster with Tom Bowen signing a long-term senior academy contract. 

The Wales Under-18s star left the club’s pathway system at the end of last season to take up a scholarship with Clifton College and link up with Bristol Bears.

But in another boost for the club, Bowen will return to the Arms Park to continue his progression in Blue and Black, highlighting the club’s track record of producing and developing talent. 

Gruff Rees said: “Tom Bowen coming back to Cardiff Rugby is another major statement that we want the best young Welsh talent, notably those who are local and have represented schools, clubs and RAG sides through the pathway, achieving their professional goals at the Arms Park. 

“We are proud of the wider pathway but this also highlights how we will always engage and maintain close relations with those who have taken opportunities such as Tom did with Clifton and representing the Bears. 

“Aled James our Talent and Pathway Manager, has been instrumental in this process working diligently in the background and supporting our succession planning at academy level through to the seniors as well as our close relations with Matt Sherratt and the coaches. 

“Tom is another fine character and as diligent a young professional as I have seen, I have no doubt he will flourish around our environment”

The back-three livewire is the son of former Scarlets fly-half Gareth Bowen and initially progressed through Aberdare RFC and the Cardiff Under-16s north pathway. He starred for Wales Under-18s last year and now returns to Cardiff, following on teammate Steffan Emanuel back to the club. 

John Alder, WRU Head of Player Development added:  “On behalf of the WRU, I am delighted that Wales U18 internationals Steff and now Tom are returning to the capital, and to Cardiff Rugby to continue their rugby development.  

“After pursuing educational opportunities at two of the UK’s most prestigious boarding schools, I am confident they will bring their learning back home and become highly valued members of Cardiff Rugby from next season.  

“We are working closely with all our regions to engage Welsh born and developed players, who have pursued opportunities outside Wales, and provide an offer worth returning home for.  

“As such it’s great to see Cardiff Rugby lead this first charge. Steff and Tom’s return highlights the commitment Cardiff have made to delivering a best-in-class Regional Academy for the area’s most talented and driven players.  

“For Steff and Tom, as two promising young players, their return will no doubt put them both firmly in the shop window for future international honours.”