Cardiff Blues have made moves to secure the young Welsh talent coming out of their academy by announcing Corey Domachowski and Rhun Williams have signed new contracts.
It follows an opening six weeks of the season where both players have seen plenty of Pro14 action as the capital region focus on developing players through the development pathway amid ongoing financial issues and cost cutting.
Loosehead prop Domachowski broke through into the first team during the Blues’ mid-year injury crisis last season, making his first start away to Pau in the Challenge Cup and going on to appear a further 12 times.
The 21-year-old has been tipped as an outside bet for the Wales squad this season, with injuries to Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Gill and possibly Rob Evans, having impressed with his scrummaging power and carrying ability in open play.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, Domachowski said “”it was non-negotiable for me and I’m delighted to have signed, obviously. It’s at my doorstep and I’ve always loved playing for the region.
“Injuries helped me out a lot last year, giving me a couple of opportunities. Luckily Danny showed a bit of confidence in me and now I’ve passed the 20-game mark and I’m happy with that.”
20-year-old Rhun Williams also made his breakthrough last season, with a try scoring debut away at Treviso in November, and has now made 18 appearances for the Blues in all competitions.
Five starts this season have seen the North-Walian become the first choice full-back at the Arms Park after Leigh Halfpenny chose to sign for the Scarlets and Dan Fish is still yet to return from a knee injury.
Another possibility for Warren Gatland’s November squad, after having to withdraw from the summer squad due to injury, he also spoke to the official website saying, “I had a few options to consider but I’m really happy to have signed with Cardiff Blues, I’m delighted.
“There’s a really good group of boys here, the staff are great and I’m really comfortable here. It’s at Cardiff Blues that I really see myself progressing. I would never have thought I would be signing my first professional contract after less than two years with the Blues but the way it has gone here gives me great confidence.”
Also signing on to stay at the Arms Park for the next few years is one of the more experienced squad members in Josh Turnbull.
The back-rower has now into his fourth season in the capital, having signed from the Scarlets in 2014, going on to make 71 Cardiff Blues appearances to date.
After missing the majority of last season with a back injury, the eight-cap Welsh international has returned to make six starts so far this season, and told the official website of his decision to re-sign, “”I’m really happy to agree a new deal and it was an easy decision for me to make.
“I’ve been here for four years, which I have thoroughly enjoyed and I’m looking forward to being part of something which will only grow and get better.
“There are a lot of young guys coming through and I feel we can really build something. I’m looking forward to playing my part and want to play week in, week out. I’m very optimistic about the future at Cardiff Blues.”