Cardiff Blues playmaker Ben Thomas has signed his first senior contract with the club ahead of a huge season for the young man.
The 20-year-old was a standout performer as Cardiff RFC stormed to WRU National Cup success and finished second in the Welsh Premiership, scoring 10 tries in 19 games, largely from inside centre.
Thomas won the Premiership’s Newcomer of the Year Award, essentially the best young player, and was named Cardiff Blues Academy Player of the Year, as he made a name for himself as one of the hottest properties in Wales.
A former captain of the Cardiff and Vale College 1st XV, he has been training full-time with the senior squad since they returned to pre-season training, and has clearly done enough to impress John Mulvihill and earn a professional contract.
Whether he is brought through primarily as an inside centre or fly-half remains to be seen, but as the Cardiff Rugby Life looked at a few months ago, the talent he possesses should see him be successful no matter which number he wears.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website after signing the deal, Thomas said, “It’s a dream come true to sign my first senior contract at Cardiff Blues.
“It’s my home team, I’ve come through the ranks here, I’ve grown up watching at the Arms Park, particularly when the likes of Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny and Casey Laulala were here.
“Now I’m just looking forward to putting my hand up for selection. The Premiership and Celtic Cup has put me in good stead and helped build my confidence and skill-set. I’ve also spent the last two years training with the senior squad and feel I can now step-up.
“I just want to push to break into the match-day squad and get some first-team game time – I have already learnt a huge amount from being in and around the senior environment.
“Seeing what the likes of Owen Lane and Jarrod Evans have achieved gives me confidence about kicking on and playing with such a young and talented squad, that is developing together is also a hugely exciting prospect.”