Cardiff Blues have secured the future of centre Garyn Smith, with the Pontypridd boy signing a new long-term contract to stay at the Arms Park.
The 23-year-old is Ponty through-and-through as a third generation Smith to play for the home side at Sardis Road after his father and grandfather, and came through their junior and youth sections before entering the Cardiff Blues academy.
He largely bypassed the development competitions after playing for Wales U20, as he started the last three Guinness Pro14 games of the 2014/15 season and impressed enough to stay a regular in and around the first team squad ever since.
Despite still being very much a young player by age, he has become a senior figure quickly with 81 appearances under his belt in all competitions and leading the defence when he is on the field.
Smith now stays to fight it out with Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo and fellow new contract signer Harri Millard for a spot in the Cardiff Blues midfield.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said, “This is my home region, I have come through the ranks here and I was excited to get the contract signed. I’m very happy and it ties in with my studies at the University of South Wales really well.
“The majority of the boys have come through the Cardiff Blues pathway and I was fortunate to play with the likes of Jarrod (Evans), Tomos (Williams), Dillon (Lewis) and Ethan (Lewis) right the way through. When you are playing, training and working with your mates, it doesn’t feel like a job.
“The competition in the centre has been great for me. Harri has come through this year and added to that. We are all really pushing each other because everyone wants that starting jersey and nobody wants to give it up.
“Winning the Challenge Cup last year is obviously a highlight of my career and I was delighted I could do my bit for the team.
“Now I am really excited about the future. We want to remain in the Heineken Cup, to continue building as a group and competing in every game. We have the squad to do that, everyone believes in themselves and we have shown we can beat anyone on our day.”