Cardiff RFC add firepower to the backline

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Following on from 11 new players coming in to boost the forwards for next season, Cardiff RFC have also brought in a number of new backs to add to the potent attacking force of last season.

The Blue and Blacks scored 991 in their 30 Principality Premiership games last year, with 129 coming through tries, resulting in an average of 33 points and four tries per game, as we finished second in the league.

As we already know, Tom Habberfield has arrived at the Arms Park following his release by the Ospreys, and he will be joined in the scrum-half ranks by Ben Williams who joins having spent last year at Ealing Trailfinders.

He started his career in the Worcester Warriors academy, progressing all the way through to playing in the Premiership A league, but was released at 18 and moved to the Welsh capital to play and study at Cardiff Met.

Three years there, where he represented England Students, was followed by the move to the English Championship, but Williams now returns to Wales after one season to play for the Blue and Blacks.

Ben Williams Cardiff RFC
Ben Williams joins at scrum-half from Ealing

Another new face at half-back is that of fly-half Joseph Scrivens. The 24-year-old was involved with the Ospreys pathway before signing with Bridgend, spending two and a half seasons there, making 57 appearances and scoring 301 points.

He joined Bedwas mid-way through the 2017/18 campaign and has racked up 246 points in 38 games at Bridge Field, before moving to the capital ahead of next season.

Into midfield and arguably the biggest signing of the summer comes in the form of former Edinburgh and Dragons centre Sam Beard, who signs having returned to South Wales.

The 29-year-old started his professional career with Bay of Plenty before switching to the Scottish capital in 2013, where he made 41 appearances in three seasons. Following that he made the move to Rodney Parade, playing 32 times in two years.

Upon his release he returned to New Zealand, signing with Canterbury for the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup campaign, but also ended up turning out twice for the Crusaders in Super Rugby. After dealing with off-field commitments he is now ready to return to rugby with Cardiff RFC.

Joining him in midfield is another former Dragons man as Barney Nightingale joins from Bargoed, having played five times at the professional level back in 2014 when he was involved in the Wales U20 setup.

Barney Nightingale Newport
Barney Nightingale has previously played for Newport

Jack Brooks also boosts the centre options having impressed in end-of-season outings against Bargoed and RGC while playing on permit from Tata Steel RFC.

Similarly, winger Amir Jiwa-Walji is back with Cardiff for pre-season having spent last summer and the early part of the 2018/19 campaign at the Arms Park before returning to Tata Steel.

Also joining the back three ranks is George Thomas, having been released by the Cardiff Blues Academy. Hailing from Brecon he came through the pathway, playing for Pontypridd along the way.

He was involved with Cardiff Blues A and the tracked academy group last season, but stays in the Welsh capital after his release as a Cardiff University student, for whom he featured in BUCS Super Rugby for.

Finally, there is a returning figure in the backs as Leon Andrews is a Blue and Black once more, 12 years after departing the Arms Park for Cross Keys.

A versatile player who can play in midfield or across the back three, he has played 268 times for the Gwent side in the intervening seasons, scoring 54 tries, but returns to pass the century mark of appearances in Cardiff having left with 99 games to his name.

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