The newly formed Cardiff Blues development side will play their inaugural game against the Scarlets at the Arms Park on Wednesday 29th August, just over two weeks away.
Details of the competition they are playing in are yet to be confirmed, but it appears that it will involve the four Welsh regions and the four Irish Provinces, with all teams playing each other once either home or away over the course of the first weeks of the
It comes after the British and Irish Cup was scrapped after last season, with the Premiership development sides following suit, and new development teams brought in following an independent review of the pathway system in Welsh rugby.
The exact styles of the development teams are yet to be confirmed, with all the advertising so far mentioning ‘Cardiff Blues U23’, but they could well be ‘Cardiff Blues A’ with some restrictions imposed by the WRU over how many players over the age of 23 are allowed.
There was a hope that Cardiff Blues U23/A games could be linked up with Cardiff RFC games, creating double headers at the Arms Park, but it remains to be seen how often that is possible with the Blue and Blacks playing away for two weeks in September and BBC Wales moving Premiership games to Friday nights for television coverage.
Cardiff Blues’ team will be coached by Gruff Rees, T. Rhys Thomas and Richie Rees, with some senior first team squad members pitching in, and will mostly be made up of those players not regularly involved on a Pro14 matchday in the 20-23 year old age bracket and Cardiff Blues academy members.
They will be supplemented by players in the first team squad over the age of 23 who need game time, as well as the best players from the semi-professional Cardiff Blues regional development pathway, with Cardiff RFC’s Morgan Allen already having had a chance to get some minutes for Cardiff Blues against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
Further details on the new development competition are set to be revealed in the next few weeks.