Georgian tighthead prop Anton Peikrishvili will be staying in Cardiff beyond this summer having signed on to extend his time at the Arms Park by at least a further year.
Having turned out for the likes of Agen, Castres and Brive in the French leagues, he signed for Ulster at the beginning of the season to provide short-term injury cover, only to get injured himself and be released from the Northern Ireland side.
Danny Wilson then picked him up for Cardiff Blues in early November, after the long overdue departure of Salesi Ma’afu to Gloucester, initially on a deal that lasted until the end of the season.
At the time the head coach was quoted as saying “hopefully he’ll fulfil what we need for the rest of the year and that could lead to something else”, and that has now turned out to be the case as Peikrishvili puts pen to paper.
The 23-cap Georgian international didn’t get off to the greatest start in a Cardiff jersey, it’s fair to say, as he was sent-off for biting Rob McCusker on his first fall start against the Ospreys in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, but came back from that self-defence incident well.
He’s made nine appearances since January, around a slight back problem that kept him out in April, but has shown flashes of being the stable scrummaging tighthead that we so desire, as well as putting in shifts around the field.
With a full pre-season to get under his belt, and more time to bed properly into the Blues scrum, then hopefully he can kick on and challenge Dillon Lewis for the number three shirt as the young Welshman returns to fitness.
Towards the end of the season there was also confirmation of Matthew Rees and Fa’ao Filise signing on to extend their careers, great news for supporters everywhere I’m sure due to the scrummaging performances of Smiler and the absolutely legendary status that the King of Tonga enjoys.
Off-the-field financial developments means the picture may change over the next few weeks, but keep your eyes peeled for news that, hopefully, they will continue to play at the Arms Park for at least one more year. Come on Cardiff!!