The regional rugby team based at Cardiff Arms Park is to be called CARDIFF BLUES.
This afternoon, regional coach, David Young, has released the names of his playing squad, including four development players. One position, prop, has been left open pending the completion of contractual arrangements.
Cardiff Blues will be led by the Wales national captain, Martyn Williams.
The Cardiff Blues squad announced today contains 20 full international players, together with several other players with representative and under-21 international experience.
David Young said,
In the season that has just ended the Cardiff club team finished strongly. This, I believe, was further proof of the continuing development of the individuals and the team throughout the campaign. It was a season of establishing solid foundations for the future and I was delighted by the work ethic and commitment of everyone who was involved.
Now we have to look forward as a region. There is no denying the importance of having experienced players to complement the ability and enthusiasm of the younger players. I believe that the recruitment we have undertaken to establish the squad I am announcing this afternoon has addressed these needs.
Cardiff Blues will have a good balance of youth and experience in both the backs and the forwards and they could have no better man to lead them than Martyn Williams. Interestingly, ten of the squad have come through the youth and under-21 teams of the Cardiff club in recent seasons. There are several more in the pipeline and there is every likelihood that youngsters not in the Blues squad will also be given opportunities. Obvious examples of these are Nick Macleod, James Malpas, Chris Stamatakis, James Goode and Rhys Thomas.
The Blues pre-season training will be underway by 7 July. Today, though, we welcome Tom Shanklin, Johnny Vaughton, Gareth Williams, Ben Evans, Craig Quinnell, Andy Moore and Nathan Thomas to the Blues squad.
There is much to look forward to with the Celtic League matches first up and then in December the Heineken Cup. The confirmation that we will be playing our pool games against Biarritz Olympique, Leinster Lions and Sale Sharks is a timely reminder of the great rugby and unique challenges awaiting us next season. We believe that Cardiff Blues will be ready for those challenges.
View the regional squad for 2003/4