Cardiff RFC re-sign Cup winning squad members

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Cardiff RFC will retain 13 key members of the 2018/19 WRU National Cup winning squad as Steve Law prepares for the start of pre-season training.

They include a spread of players from across the field, as the Blue and Blacks look to go one better in the Principality Premiership having finished second to champions Merthyr after a close run battle.

Starting up front and loosehead props Thomas Davies and Fraser Young will both return for 2019/20 after featuring heavily last season.

Davies, 26, played a total of 33 games in all competitions, while 23-year-old Young appeared 14 times, winning all of them, and was also part of the Cardiff Blues A squad for the first ever Celtic Cup.

They are joined in the front row by tighthead prop Peter Lloyd, with the 26-year-old also playing in 33 games across all competitions, racking up his 50th appearance in Blue and Blacks against Bedwas in March.

peter lloyd pontypridd
Peter Lloyd has re-signed with Cardiff RFC

Second row Kieran Martin will also stay with Cardiff next season after an impressive first campaign at the Arms Park during which he made 24 appearances and earned rave reviews from the Blue and Black faithful, particularly for his work around the lineout and maul.

In the back row the quartet of Sam Pailor, Aled Cockwell, Zach O’Driscoll and Morgan Allen have re-signed as each quickly became fan favourites in the Welsh capital.

Pailor arrived in the first few weeks of the season and went on to play 30 times altogether, impressing with his consistency and versatility, playing in the second row, on the flank and at number eight.

Aled Cockwell was another not in the squad at the start of the campaign, coming in from Neath during March and making six appearances between then and the end of the season, scoring a solitary try.

O’Driscoll picked up Players’ Player of the Year at the end of season dinner having appeared a huge 34 times and regularly topping the tackles made list, leading the Premiership as a whole at various points and being tipped to make the step up to the next level.

Meanwhile Morgan Allen was a colossus, the key carrier in the squad crossing the whitewash 15 times in 30 games and giving regular go-forward ball during attacking phase play.

morgan allen pontypridd
Morgan Allen’s ball carrying has been vital

Into the backs and fly-half Gareth Thompson will spend a fifth season at the Arms Park after his best campaign to date, playing 34 times, scoring seven tries and kicking 282 goals for a total of 317 points.

It takes him to 774 career points in Blue and Black, and with 86 appearances to his name, a spot in the 100 club is not far away.

Capping off the re-signings are four key players for the back three stocks, as Mathew Powell, James Beal, Joe Gatt and Edd Howley are retained.

25-year-old Gatt, dubbed ‘Gatt-in-a-hat’ due to his distinctive scrum cap, has been a constant threat on the wing in 34 games, scoring nine tries, while 24-year-old Powell has contributed seven tries from 22 games on the opposite touchline.

Edd Howley was the real star of the back three though, arriving from Neath in November and going on to top the try scoring list with 19 tries in 22 games which, coupled with 10 points off the tee, saw him break the 100 point mark for the season.

Finally, James Beal is back in regular contention for minutes after an injury affected campaign that restricted him to just one try scoring outing against Pontypridd at Easter.

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