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Young over the moon after Evans and Sherratt put pen-to-paper

First Team News | 20th April 2021

Dai Young is over the moon after both Jarrod Evans and Matt Sherratt put pen-to-paper, committing their foreseeable futures to life at Cardiff Arms Park.

It was confirmed last week that academy product Evans, who made his senior debut in 2015, has signed a new contract, extending his time with his home club.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that backs coach Sherratt would return to the capital from Worcester Warriors ahead of the 2021/22 season.

The popular Sherratt, who has also had experience coaching the Wales national side, was part of Danny Wilson’s back room staff who led Cardiff to the 2018 Challenge Cup trophy in Bilbao.

Young is highly encouraged by the return of the backs coach and is delighted with the make-up of his coaching team, which also includes the likes of Richie Rees, Richard Hodges, Duane Goodfield and T Rhys Thomas.

“Obviously the Dwayne Peel situation has been sorted, which left us an opportunity to bring in an experienced backs coach,” said the director of rugby, who himself recently signed a permanent deal with the club.

“When speaking to the players here, Matt was the one that the players felt would help us progress on the field.

“So we’re really pleased to get that one across the line.

“He’s already done a great job here under Danny and has gone away and got more experience.

“The players are excited because they know him well from his time here and he feels that he’s improved as a coach during that time as well.

“So it’s a situation that’s been resolved and everyone will move on.

“I’m really happy with the coaching group we have in place, with Duane and TRT fronting up the forwards alongside myself.

“Obviously I’ll want to have some input into the forwards and we’ve got all the aspects covered in that area.

“I’ve been really impressed with Richard Hodges as a defence coach and if you look at the stats, they show what a good job he’s done.

“Matt is coming on board to head up the attack, supported by Richie, who has had two or three years in that position as well.

“Now we’ve got a strong coaching group and a group that can hopefully take us forward.”

Playmaker Evans is fast-approaching a century of appearances for the Arms Park outfit, and was also a member of Wales’ Guinness Six Nations-winning squad this year.

He wil be joined in the squad next season by fellow outside half, Rhys Priestland, who will make the switch from Bath Rugby over the summer.

Young is excited to see what the future holds for outside half Evans, as the six-times capped Welsh international aims to become a regular in Wayne Pivac’s side.

“Looking from afar, Jarrod is somebody that has developed over the last couple of years to be an excellent rugby player,” added the former Cardiff and Wales prop.

“He’s Cardiff Blues through-and-through, and the good thing for me is that he’s still got growth in his game.

“He’s an excellent player with real stand-out ability with ball in-hand. He’s got parts of his game that, by his own admission, needs working on and we’re confident they can get better.

“He’s a really important part to us and it would have been somewhere near a disaster had we lost him, because he’s been fundamental in the team for the last couple of season and he’s only going to get better.

“It’s well recognised that with ball in hand he’s as good, if not better, than anyone around. He attacks the gain-line, has individual threat and distributes from the line.

“He has work ons with his kicking game and game management but that’s certainly come on a lot this season and is something that he’s putting a lot of time into.

“He’s getting better all of the time and he’s not too far away from cracking into that international set-up on a regular basis.

“We’re really pleased to get his deal over the line and with Rhys Priestland also coming on-board, he’ll be able to help Jarrod with parts of his game.

“I’ve always been a big believer that if you can get two quality players in each position, it makes my job much easier. They push each other and you can rest and rotate when you need to. To have two quality tens like that is huge for us.”