As the players commenced pre-season training this week I can now confirm the full-time playing squad as well as the academy squad for the 2016/17 season. Following Danny Wilson’s desire to reduce the size of the playing staff the final numbers come in at 39 senior players, eight senior academy players and 13 junior academy members.
LH Prop: Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Gill, Brad Thyer
TH Prop: Salesi Ma’afu (nWq), Tau Filise (nWq), Scott Andrews, Dillon Lewis
Hooker: Kris Dacey, Kirby Myhill, Matthew Rees, Ethan Lewis
Lock: Jarrad Hoeata (nWq), James Down, George Earle, Cam Dolan (nWq)
Back Row: Sam Warburton (NDC), Josh Turnbull, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams (nWq), Josh Navidi, Macauley Cook, James Sheekey
Scrum Half: Lloyd Williams, Tavis Knoyle, Lewis Jones, Tomos Williams
Fly-Half: Gareth Anscombe (NDC), Steve Shingler, Jarrod Evans
Centre: Cory Allen, Rey Lee-Lo (nWq), Willis Halaholo (TS), Garyn Smith,
Back Three: Alex Cuthbert, Tom James, Aled Summerhill, Blaine Scully (nWq), Dan Fish, Matthew Morgan
Senior Academy Squad
Corey Domachowski (LH), Kieron Assiratti (TH), Liam Belcher (HK), Seb Davies (Lock), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Lock), Harri Millard (Centre), Owen Lane (Centre), Rhun Williams (Full-back)
Junior Academy Squad
Rhys Carre (LH), Tom Mably (TH), Corrie Tarrant (HK), Josh Novell (Lock), Callum Bradbury (Lock), Jim Botham (Flanker), Morgan Sienawski (Flanker), Joe Gaughan (Back Row), Aled Ward (Back Row), Dane Blacker (SH), Declan Williams (FH), Cameron Lewis (Centre), Terri Gee (Wing)
Key: nWq – non-Welsh qualified NDC – National Dual Contract TS – Timeserver
The squad is missing Adam Thomas, Owen Jenkins, Jevon Groves and Ben Roach who are all no longer at the club which takes the total number of players that departed at the end of the last season to a massive 21. In just a short space of time Danny Wilson has got well on the road to achieving his ideal squad.
The TWENTY-ONE players who have left the Arms Park: https://cardiffbluesblog.com/2016/05/21/so-long-farewell/
He did basically operate with the squad size he wants on the pitch towards the end of last season but with those numbers now on the training pitch as well it means the general standard of play will increase on the CAP and Vale pitches, an improvement no doubt.
In terms of the academy squads, all of the senior members will train with the first team full-time. Only Owen Lane out of those did not feature for the Wales U20s at the Junior World Championship, and he will be featuring for them in 2017 I am 99% certain. Morgan Sieniawski of the junior academy side was also in Manchester over the summer, while the vast majority already have Wales U18 honours.
Look out for full player profiles for all those named above as pre-season approaches with games confirmed at home to Bristol on Friday 12th August and away at Newport on Saturday 20th August. Also don’t forget about the Singha Premiership 7s Wales leg on Friday 22nd July at the Arms Park, while the European Challenge Cup draw takes place on Wednesday 29th June. The season is getting closer, come on Cardiff!!