More Blues to follow suit

Guinness PRO12 Editor

17 Feb 2011


Leigh Halfpenny and Bradley Davies look set to become the latest players set to pledge their allegiance to the Cardiff Blues.

Welsh internationals Sam Warburton and Tom James have both put pen to paper on new deals this week and their team-mates now look set to follow suit.

Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young reckoned it would have been the death-knell for his region if the likes of  Warburton had been lured away and he now expects Halfpenny and Davies to pen their own long-term deals.

"We've had to make cuts but that doesn't mean we're going to throw the towel in," said Young.

"It's not a level playing field and we're doing well to compete. It would be devastating if someone like Sam or Bradley left the Blues – it would kill the region.

"We have to build the team around the likes of these guys. Their still young men and we have a really strong backbone, but come the next time we have negotiate it might be an issue.

"We want to keep our best players contracted and Sam is one of them. We want to keep guys who've come through the system and have a lot of rugby left in them.

"He's an excellent player and there's plenty more to come, he'll be an international for a very long time.

"Bradley, Leigh and Tom are still young and all want to play for the Blues. They've shown their commitment and haven't looked at other offers, they just want to stay here and continue their Welsh ambitions.

"We're quite lucky in the fact that we've tied down the players we want on two or three year contracts."

Meanwhile Martyn Williams could also remain at the Cardiff City Stadium. The veteran flanker had been expected to leave at the end of the season but Young has hinted that he could stay.

"I wouldn't write off that he's not going to be here for definite next year," added Young

"It has been well-documented that Martyn is not here next year. It certainly hasn't come from my mouth.

"What we have said: we have to get down to a sensible budget. We can't spend more than obviously we can afford and at the moment the whole squad is being reviewed.

"Players coming out of contract – Martyn and the like – are under more pressure obviously because you have got to find more money to re-sign them.

"But it is something we are working through over the next two to three weeks. Martyn is fully in the picture."



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