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New Signings Boost Blues Squad

2nd June 2004

Cardiff Blues have today completed the signings of eight players to boost the squad for next season.

International forwards Gethin Jenkins and Deiniol Jones have confirmed their contracts with the Blues shortly before their departure for the Wales’ tour to Argentina and South Africa. They are joined in next year’s squad by international lock Robert Sidoli. Another recruit to the pack is 21-year-old back rower, Mark Lewis.

Also strengthening the Blues’ back division are fly half /centre Lee Thomas, wing / full back Matthew Nuthall and centres Tristan Davies and Shaun James.

Announcing the signings this afternoon, Blues’ chief executive Robert Norster said:

“The new signings all undoubtedly add to the growing balance that is developing within our squad. Our front and second rows will naturally benefit from such quality additions as Gethin, Rob and Deiniol. Tristan and Shaun contribute experience behind the scrum while Lee, Matthew and Mark also have great futures in the game. Taken as a group they offer a telling ingredient in our attractive style of play.”

Jenkins and Sidoli have been regular members of the Wales’ Six Nations squad and both played in last year’s Rugby World Cup team that reached the quarter-final. They will be joined in the front five of the new look Blues’ pack next season by the twice-capped lock, Deiniol Jones.

Lewis and Nuthall join the regional side after impressing for Pontypridd in Premier Division rugby last season. Lee Thomas is a product of Cardiff schools and youth rugby. He was educated at Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf and New College in the city and formerly played for Cardiff Youth. Last season he was outstanding for the Pontypridd team in the Premier Division and won selection for Wales under-21 in the Six Nations’ matches.

Tristan Davies joins the Blues after three seasons with Leeds Tykes in the Zurich Premiership and was a key member of the Yorkshire team’s Heineken Cup campaign in 2003-04. Shaun James has also valuable experience of regional rugby in the Celtic League.

Welcoming these additions to his squad, head coach David Young said,

“All these players are exciting acquisitions for the Blues’ regional squad. They further underline our commitment to bringing strength in depth to our set-up and I am really looking forward to integrating them into what we have already. They will certainly benefit us both on and off the field.”

Biographical details:

Tristan Davies

Born 7 October 1976 Height: 6’1” Weight: 13st 13lb

Honours: Wales under-21 , Wales A

Shaun James

Born: 20 May 1980 Height: 6’1” Weight: 14st 7lb

Gethin Jenkins

Born 17 November 1980 Height: 6’2” Weight: 18st 10lb

Honours: Wales (20 caps)

Deiniol Jones

Born: 18 November 1977 Height: 6’5” Weight: 18st 5lb

Honours: Wales (2 caps)

Mark Lewis

Born 18 June 1982 Height: 6’3” Weight: 16st 5lb

Honours: Wales under-21

Matthew Nuthall

Born 6 July 1983 Height: 6’1” Weight: 14st 10lb

Honours: Wales under-21

Robert Sidoli

Born: 21 June 1979 Height: 6’6” Weight: 18st 4lb

Honours: Wales (20 caps)

Lee Thomas

Born: 2 June 1984 Height: 6’1” Weight: 15st 4lb

Honours: Wales under-21