Blues looking Down Under for new stars
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.”
Target: Hallam Amos is wanted by the Blues