Cardiff RFC have moved to sign two of the players that have departed Neath RFC as the Welsh All Blacks struggle through financial problems.
It has been a difficult time of late at The Gnoll as the money man behind the scenes, Mike Cuddy, has plunged the club into uncertainty by using Neath Rugby’s assets as security against his struggling business, and a winding up order will now be heard at the end of the month.
As a result players at the Welsh All Blacks are not currently being paid and nine have chosen to move on with two, namely Scott Gibson and Ed Howley, being snapped up by Cardiff RFC to boost their squad.
Scrum-half Gibson may well be a recognisable name to some supporters after he turned out for the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select side in the British and Irish Cup back in January after an injury crisis hit the academy, the Blue and Blacks and Pontypridd RFC.
The 26-year-old joined Neath in the summer of 2017 after training with them as a youngster but moving on to Swansea and Llandovery as well as spending time playing in Ireland.
He will battle with Martin Roberts, Nicky Griffiths and Ross Pritchard for the number nine jersey at the Arms Park and hope to link up with Ed Howley who bolsters Cardiff’s back three ranks.
The 22-year-old was on the books of the Ospreys academy before spending two seasons with Newport RFC. He then returned West with Neath before the 2016/17 campaign and won the Premiership player of the month in January 2017, was named in WalesOnline’s best 15 players outside the professional game and has toured with Crawshays Welsh.
Howley will look to compete with Llywarch ap Myrddin and Cardiff Blues academy youngster Ioan Davies for the 15 jersey at the Arms Park.