The Cardiff Blues squad for the 2020/21 season has been confirmed after the earlier announcements of seven players signing new contracts and six players stepping up from the Academy.
There are four new signings in the squad, with Rhys Carre, Cory Hill, Sam Moore and Luke Scully all arriving at the Arms Park, while four contracted players departed over lockdown; Macauley Cook, James Down, Nick Williams and Filo Paulo.
This all takes the squad number up to 48 players, up from the 41 players who started the 2019/20 campaign and the most since the 2015/16 season before Danny Wilson trimmed down the squad from over 50 in a ‘quality over quantity’ approach as well as a cost cutting measure.
The first thing to notice is the improvement in depth around the tight five compared to last season’s squad, up from 16 in 2019/20 to 20 for the upcoming campaign, 21 if you include Josh Turnbull as a second row option with the back row so stacked once again.
Just three non-Welsh qualified players in the squad at the start of the season is the lowest a Cardiff Blues squad has seen since the regional game was introduced in 2003, and there is a question mark over if Olly Robinson may become Welsh qualified in December, taking us down to just two.
An average age of 26 is ideal though, with a strong balance between exciting young talent and experienced operators, which will be crucial as the internationals are likely to be away for much of the season relying on the wider squad to guide us through the Guinness Pro14 and European Challenge Cup.