Boost for the Blues as trio com­mit fu­ture to the re­gion

Western Mail - - SPORT -

CARDIFF Blues have re­ceived a timely boost with Rhun Wil­liams, Josh Turnbull and Corey Do­ma­chowski all agree­ing con­tract ex­ten­sions.

Highly-rated full-back Wil­liams, Welsh in­ter­na­tional back rower Turnbull and young prop Do­ma­chowski will have put pen to pa­per on new deals by the week­end.

They are the first group from the large con­tin­gent of out-of-con­tract play­ers to re-com­mit their fu­tures to the Arms Park out­fit.

And more sign­ings are ex­pected in the next week or so, with Blues bosses con­fi­dent of hold­ing onto new Wales lock Seb Davies in the face of com­pe­ti­tion from the Scar­lets.

As for the trio who have agreed terms, Wil­liams first caught the eye with his stylish per­for­mances at full­back dur­ing Wales’ U20s Six Na­tions Grand Slam cam­paign in 2016.

He made an as­sured step up to the se­nior ranks last sea­son and was named in the Welsh squad for the sum­mer tour of the South Seas only to be ruled out with an an­kle in­jury.

Now fit again, he has es­tab­lished him­self at No 15 for the Blues, hav­ing fea­tured pri­mar­ily on the wing last term.

The 20-year-old north Walian is mov­ing from an Academy con­tract to a full-time pro­fes­sional one.

Turnbull joined the Blues in 2014 after spend­ing seven years with the Scar­lets and has proved a stal­wart ser­vant, mak­ing 70 ap­pear­ances and cov­er­ing every po­si­tion in the back five of the scrum.

The eight-times capped for­ward missed the sec­ond half of last sea­son with a back disc prob­lem which re­quired surgery, but he’s now fit and fir­ing again.

Do­ma­chowski, who has just turned 21, has im­pressed with his out­ings on the loose­head, fig­ur­ing reg­u­larly for the first team over the past nine months.

Mean­while, Blues bosses be­lieve they are close to re­tain­ing the ser­vices of sec­ond row Davies, who is one of the most talked about play­ers in Welsh rugby at present.

They have put a sig­nif­i­cant of­fer on the ta­ble for the ball han­dling 21-year-old, who started both Tests on Wales’ sum­mer tour.

It’s un­der­stood the Scar­lets are keen on bring­ing him on board as a re­place­ment for the Mun­ster-bound Tadhg Beirne, but the Blues are con­fi­dent of keep­ing their man.

They are hav­ing to put the deal to­gether them­selves as there is no WRU Na­tional Dual Con­tract of­fer in place for Davies.

On the coach­ing front, the search for the suc­ces­sor to Danny Wil­son, who is leav­ing at the end of the sea­son, is well un­der way.

Some 25 ap­pli­ca­tions have been re­ceived for the job so far, while a num­ber of other po­ten­tial can­di­dates are be­ing tar­geted.

The con­tenders will be con­sid­ered by a panel made up of Blues chief ex­ec­u­tive Richard Hol­land, WRU Head of Rugby Per­for­mance Geraint John and for­mer Wales coach Kevin Bowring.

> Rhun Wil­liams

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