Cardiff Blues have confirmed that second row Matthew Screech has signed for the 2021/22 season from local rivals the Dragons.
The 28-year-old started his career at the Arms Park, having come through the development pathway via Rhondda Schools and Pontypridd, making his first team debut during the 2011/12 campaign with three Anglo-Welsh Cup appearances and a Guinness Pro14 debut against Aironi.
Screech then departed for the Dragons in the summer of 2013 and has become an integral member of the squad during the intervening eight years, making 162 appearances in all competitions and scoring 16 tries, five of which have come this season.
He will now return to the capital to battle with Cory Hill, Seb Davies, Ben Murphy, James Ratti and Ben Murphy, as well as Rory Thornton if departure rumours turn out not to be true, for a spot in the Cardiff engine room.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, Screech said, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to Cardiff next season. It was a decision I thought long and hard about given I’ve spent so long at the Dragons and I remain incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had there. I’m very thankful to all of the coaches I have worked with and I leave Rodney Parade a better player.
“However, now is the right time for a new challenge and Cardiff is the perfect place to do that. I want to challenge myself in a new environment and get out of my comfort zone to improve as a player. Cardiff have a lot of strength and depth in the position, which will be great for me and I’m looking forward to adding value to the group.
“I came through the academy with a lot of the boys in the senior squad now and they all speak very highly of the set-up and the direction the club is going. So, I am eager to rejoin the club at such a positive time and look forward to working with Dai Young, who is such a well-respected coach who is passionate about the Cardiff region.”