Former Wales U20 scrum-half Dafydd Buckland will train with the Cardiff Blues Academy and play for Pontypridd next season.
The 19-year-old has come through the development pathway at the Dragons, winning 12 Wales U20 caps in that time, but has departed Rodney Parade this summer after growing frustrated with the lacking of playing opportunities afforded in the setup there.
Buckland played just twice outside of the U20 Six Nations last season, barely getting a run-out in either the Celtic Cup or the Indigo Group Premiership, as he was put on a training programme with the aim of bulking him up a bit.
Now up towards 80kgs he is ready to kick on and will link up with the Cardiff Blues Academy, working with former Ospreys and current Cardiff RFC scrum-half Tom Habberfield, as well as appearing for Pontypridd in the Premiership.
Speaking to WalesOnline, Buckland said, “What I want more than anything is game-time. I’ve only played two games outside of Wales U20s this term – one start and one appearance off the bench for Newport RFC.
“I live in Cardiff, so being within the Blues set-up will mean a lot. It will be a massive change of scenery and a massive experience. And Pontypridd are a club with a lot of tradition and great support. If I could have some games with them, then that would be great.
“I also want to secure a professional contract and show what I can do. All young players are the same and I’m no different. I just want to push on. I don’t want to fall into the category of a player who becomes a Wales U20s international and then slips off it. I want to make a career of it.”