Cardiff Rugby will today enter an exciting new era and evolve to fully embrace its rich history and heritage.
Following extensive consultations with key stakeholders, Cardiff Blues can confirm they will become Cardiff Rugby for the 2021-22 season and beyond.
As part of this evolution, an updated logo has been designed and the club will return to its traditional, world-famous colours of blue and black.
This heralds a new era for the Cardiff Arms Park outfit with Dai Young back at the helm as Director of Rugby, plans advancing for a new training complex and a young and exciting squad of home-grown talent developing.
The decision was made following analysis of existing customer demographics, consistent supporter feedback and wider market research with discussions involving supporter groups, sponsors and other key stakeholders including the Welsh Rugby Union.
Cardiff Rugby remains fully committed to fulfilling its wider regional responsibilities for Welsh rugby. This includes continuing its successful elite player pathway, which has produced almost 70 per cent of the current senior squad, and delivering social good throughout communities through its rugby foundation.
As part of the process there has already been a realignment of elite development pathways at the Arms Park with the Indigo Group Premiership side, Cardiff RFC, set to operate as the Rags when semi-professional rugby returns.
Cardiff Rugby Chief Executive, Richard Holland said: “We see this change as a key step in the evolution of top-flight rugby in Cardiff. We are proud to embrace our rich heritage and history, which goes back more than 145 years, and encompasses greats of the game including Bleddyn Williams, Cliff Morgan, Gareth Edwards, Terry Holmes and Gethin Jenkins.
“Cardiff Rugby is a world-renowned brand and we simply have to leverage that to build sustainable success on and off the field. Not only is Cardiff globally recognised in rugby circles, it is also the commercial powerhouse of Wales and one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and Europe.
“Over a long period, our supporters and sponsors have been very clear that this is what they want and I am pleased that we have been able to respond to them in such a positive way, especially at a time when they have stood beside us.
“This is also the best way forward for the development of players, with much closer alignment between all of our teams and Cardiff RFC now returning to be the traditional ‘Rags’ to Cardiff Rugby.
“We are enormously excited to see what the future holds and look forward to seeing the blue and blacks run out at the iconic Arms Park, whether in the Regional Age Grade competitions, Indigo Group Premiership, Guinness PRO14 or European competition.
“We have a long-standing commitment to developing from within and have seen our representation at all levels grow. Ninety-five per cent of our senior squad is Welsh and almost 70 per cent are products of our rugby development pathway. We are continuing to invest with our biggest academy squad and there is fantastic work being done through the age-grades.
“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were engaging with more than 50,000 people per year through our Community Foundation. This involves people of all ages and backgrounds, from Barry to Builth Wells, and we will continue to do this using the Cardiff Rugby brand.
“While there are still challenges to navigate due to the pandemic and further work to achieve our goals on and off the pitch, this is a hugely exciting time for Cardiff Rugby.”
The announcement has been made in advance of the 2021-22 season and a transition period will now be undertaken to realign the world-famous brand across the Arms Park site, other physical assets and digital channels.
Cardiff RFC chairman Chris Norman said: “As someone with a long association with Cardiff and Cardiff Rugby I am absolutely delighted to welcome this move.
“I see this as the continued evolution of the famous brand and Cardiff Rugby coming home with common sense prevailing.
“Cardiff Rugby is a global brand and has an unrivalled heritage, which belongs at the very top of the professional game.
“With our two teams now fully aligned, players can see a clear and enhanced pathway and I look forward to the Blue and Blacks flourishing at both a semi-professional and professional level.”