Cardiff Rugby have registered a further seven players to their EPCR squad ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Stade Toulousain at Cardiff Arms Park (KO 1.00pm).
With the majority of the Blue and Blacks’ first team squad currently in quarantine following Covid disruptions in South Africa, a coaching team, led by Gruff Rees, are preparing to host the defending European champions with a squad containing a mixture of senior international players, academy youngsters and stand-out performers from the Indigo Group Premiership.
Five of the new recruits are from the front row, with hooker duo Alun Rees and Evan Yardley regulars for the ‘Rags’ in the Premiership Cup this season.
Aberavon props Geraint James and Rowan Jenkins are also included, with the latter having featured for Cardiff Rugby A in the past, while Cardiff Met’s Joe Cowell completes the front row rank.
Cardiff RFC back row Alex Everett, who has skippered the Rags this season, is also named alongside scrum half Tom Habberfield, who has previous Heineken Champions Cup experience from his time with Ospreys.
Academy manager Rees said: “We’re extremely thankful to Aberavon and Cardiff Met for their corporation over the last week and they’ve been crucial in our preparations for Saturday’s match.
“Many of the boys coming in have been stand-out stars at Premiership level, and will offer additional experience around the camp.
“The guys coming in from Cardiff RFC will also be familiar with the language we use on the field and it’s an exciting opportunity for them.”