Cardiff Blues tighthead prop Dmitri Arhip has put pen-to-paper on a new long-term deal to stay at the Arms Park beyond this summer.
The 31-year-old has made a big impression since arriving from the Ospreys in the summer of 2018, stabilising the scrum and providing an experienced presence in the squad as the likes of Dillon Lewis and Keiron Assiratti make their mark in the first team and beyond.
After making 91 appearances in six years at the Liberty Stadium, Arhip arrived in Cardiff under strange circumstances with a contract at Montpellier torn up due to strict French regulations on neck and head injuries.
However, the Moldovan was snapped up by Wales’ Capital Region and has gone on to make 19 appearances so far, taking over as the overseas scrum rock from the great Fa’ao Filise.
Despite once again having interest from elsewhere in Europe, Arhip has chosen to stay at Cardiff Blues, telling the official website, “My family are very happy in Wales, my kids go to a Welsh school and this is very much home for us. The people are very welcoming so we are all really settled and it was an easy decision to make.
“This is an ambitious team with a great culture. We’re building a really good squad with both experienced and young players coming through. It’s a team where I believe we can really compete and push on to win something.
“There is also a lot of competition at tight-head, which makes sure everyone is constantly pushing each other and improving. We all work closely together to help improve different aspects in each other’s games.
“It has been frustrating to miss a couple of months through injury but now I am back playing I am determined to help the team as much as possible and I’m looking forward to the years ahead.”