Blues look­ing Down Un­der for new stars

The Rugby Paper - - Championship | News - By STEFFAN THOMAS

JOHN Mul­vi­hill is hop­ing to add an Aus­tralian flavour to his Cardiff Blues squad next sea­son.

Re­cruit­ment has been de­layed at all of Wales’ four re­gions as they hold on­go­ing talks with the Welsh Rugby Union over the play­ing bud­gets they will be al­lo­cated mov­ing for­wards.

Mul­vi­hill, right, hopes to press ahead with bring­ing in new faces quickly and

The Rugby Pa­per un­der­stands Sam Carter, Pek Cowan and Salesi Manu are play­ers he is look­ing at.

The Blues have iden­ti­fied the back three as an area which needs strength­en­ing and are favourites to sign Hal­lam Amos and Josh Adams. They are also in­ter­ested in Scar­lets wing Steffan Evans.

“We’ve iden­ti­fied a few ar­eas where we need to bring guys in,” said for­mer Western Force coach and Blues boss Mul­vi­hill. “There are a cou­ple of Aus­tralian play­ers who I coached at the Bar­bar­ians last year who could be in­ter­ested in com­ing over next sea­son. “As the com­pe­ti­tion has gone on this year we’ve had var­i­ous play­ers from other teams in South Africa and Wales who want to sound us out be­cause they like the look of what we’re do­ing. “They hear some good sto­ries about what is hap­pen­ing in our camp. “A lot of the agents have been quite un­der­stand­ing while the play­ers have been pa­tient as well. We need to re­place Samu Manoa and we are also look­ing at in­jury cover for El­lis Jenk­ins.

“It’s not nec­es­sar­ily about buy­ing over­seas play­ers, it could be some lo­cal ones as well. There is a lit­tle bit to play with but we are wait­ing to get the green light so we can do it.”

The Blues re­turned to the Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup this sea­son af­ter a fiveyear ab­sence and are fight­ing hard to qual­ify for next sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion. While play­ing in Euro­pean rugby’s pre­mier tour­na­ment re­mains a pri­mary fo­cus for Mul­vi­hill, he knows his squad must im­prove to do so.

He said: “The club wants to play at Cham­pi­ons Cup level and we have had a full house for those games. We want to play against the best but some­times you’ve got to be care­ful what you wish for if you can’t turn up for those big fights with­out your best play­ers in­volved.

“I don’t think we are too far away and when you look at the bud­gets the English teams have com­pared to what we have, it’s a big dif­fer­ence.

“If we do get the goa­head to have a big­ger bud­get that’s all well and good, but there’s no point hav­ing a bud­get if you don’t sign the right play­ers which will suit our club and the way we play.”

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

Tar­get: Hal­lam Amos is wanted by the Blues

Sam Carter

Pek Cowan

Salesi Manu

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.