Cardiff Blues have confirmed that back-row forward Rory Watts-Jones has signed a new professional contract with the region.
Watts-Jones who is product of Cowbridge Comprehensive showed his ability during the summer warm up matches proving a handful in attack and solid in defence against Worcester, Gloucester and Bath.
Speaking at the Arms Park the youngster has obviously settled in well with the squad,
“This is actually my third professional contract."
“I played down in Plymouth for a few years whilst I was studying at University, but it’s my first professional contract in Wales, which is nice."
“Robin Copeland was with Plymouth at the same time so I have trained with him before and he’s a great guy."
“I studied environmental construction surveying which was basically the only area I was particularly interested in."
“The course looked at more environmentally friendly ways of building and it encompassed all sorts of modern techniques, as well as traditional green practices."
“I just missed out on a 2.1. It was hard juggling professional rugby and my degree so I was pleased with that."
“My father has a building firm and he recommended the course so I went down to the University to have a look and loved it."
“Obviously Plymouth are a championship side so I thought I could play a good standard of rugby whilst studying and it ticked all the boxes really."
“Last year I was playing for Cardiff RFC and I was working with my father and helping him out with his business I got to use a bit of my degree there and gained great practical experience."
“Then when pre season started with the Blues, which took precedent.”
Speaking of how he started his passion for rugby, Watt-Jones added,
“I’ve always wanted to play since I was a little boy going to school at Cowbridge Comprehensive."
“I lived about five minute’s away form Lloyd and Tom [Williams] so grew up with them"
“I’ve always played back row through school."
“I remember mine and Lloyd’s year made it through to the Welsh Cup but lost out to Neath and Port Talbot College in the final."
“We were unbeatable in the league, so we had a pretty good team really.”
The step up to regional rugby can be a daunting one but the blindside flanker had the right attitude to succeed, speaking of the training Watts-Jones said,
“The regional set up is just more professional."
“All your needs are catered for, we have cracking staff, physios and conditioners."
As a player all you have to worry about is training hard I suppose, everything else is taken care of."
“The facilities are fantastic, everyone knows what they are doing and the boys work hard."
“Phil Davies has definitely got our mentalities sorted, there are no big egos, everyone is friendly although there is some great banter in the changing rooms."
“There’s good competition for places and I sit by Josh in the changing room."
“We wish each other well and whoever starts, whoever gets the jersey, I know will give it one hundred percent."
“It’s a long season, I may start one week he may start the week after."
“With Phil’s squad rotation you just have to make sure you play well when you have that jersey on your back and that’s about all you can do really."
“I would like to establish myself as a first team squad member and get a few starts in and see how it goes really."
“I played all the pre season games and it was definitely a step up."
“With all the conditioning and strength work we have done in the summer it was manageable but it was definitely a step up from what I’m used too."
In particular the speed of the game and physicality is higher but it’s reassuring to know that you can live at that pace."
“I would say my conditioning is better than my gym work, which is something I am working on."
“Martyn Williams and Xavier Rush were massive talisman for the team and great to watch so it’s great that Xavier is still on board the coaching team."
“I can’t wait to play for the Blues at the Arms Park in a competitive match."
“I have a load of friends and people from the Cowbridge area who are season ticket holders and I used to come a lot as a kid. It will be nice to play in front of them."