Chris Dicomidis has joined Cardiff Blues on a full time basis
Cardiff Blues have announced the signing of lock Chris Dicomidis.
I join up with the Blues next week and can't wait to get started in a new environment and really push myself to show what I am capable of
Second row Dicomidis, 28, joins the region on a full-time basis from Principality Premiership champions Pontypridd and has put pen to paper on a long-term deal.
The giant forward, who stands 6ft 6in and weighs 18st 6lbs, has played for Wales Under 19, Wales Under 21, Wales Universities and the Barbarians.
Man-mountain Dicomidis, who also represented Cyprus in 2011, has been an almost ever present in the Pontypridd set-up over the last decade and was named club captain in 2010.
Last season he led the Sardis Road club to an historic league and cup double, securing the SWALEC Cup with victory over Neath and landing the league title with a final demolition of Llanelli. His performances saw him named Principality Premiership player of the year for last season.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to become part of the Blues squad and taking my chance at professional rugby," said Dicomidis.
"You always hope you'll get the call to join a full-time set-up and I've spoken to Dale (McIntosh) about the region and what is expected. I'm determined to grasp this opportunity with both hands and show what I can achieve.
"I've had an incredible time at Pontypridd, have made so many friends and leave with so many fond memories. I'd like to thank them for their understanding and wish them every success for the rest of this season. I also need to thank my employer MPCT for their support and backing.
"I join up with the Blues next week and can't wait to get started in a new environment and really push myself to show what I am capable of."
Director of Rugby Phil Davies said: "We're really pleased Chris will join the region. He is a fine player who has played extremely well for Pontypridd over the last decade.
"Chris is someone I know very well and also Chief (Dale McIntosh) has a very close relationship with him from their time together at Pontypridd.
"He will strengthen our second row resources with Lou Reed and Bradley Davies currently side-lined and I know he is determined to take this opportunity. We are excited to see what he can achieve in a full-time professional environment."
Equal access to facilities and resources at St Helen's has seen Swansea Women flourish since being welcomed with open arms last July. Swansea RFC chairman Stephen Hughes and women's captain Siwan Lillicrap are delighted to see rapid progress being made on and off the pitch.
It's back to the Principality Premiership for our top clubs this weekend. This week GTFM's Ioan Dyer takes his Pontypridd hat off - temporarily at least - and looks ahead to the programme with WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie
This week, Wales squad players Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens took time out to support Operation Net Safe, a joint initiative by the four Welsh police forces to tackle child sexual abuse. The forces are working with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused, on a campaign called Stop it Now!
Ospreys and Wales duo Rhys Webb and Scott Baldwin return to their home town club Bridgend Ravens as they prepare for life after their rugby playing careers by undertaking their coaching badges at the Principality Premiership outfit.
The Urdd were unveiled as the WRU's national schools sevens partner at Pencoed yesterday. A flagship event for the new partnership will be the Urdd WRU 7s at Pencoed held over three days on April 4, 5, 6.
The second phase of the Principality Premiership kicked off last week with the introduction of two tiers. In this week's podcast Aberavon No 8 Chris Davies tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie he's had to change his game while Cross Keys head coach Greg Woods says his side still have plenty to aim for.
Women in the Ospreys region recently completed a Level 1 coaching course and are looking forward to putting their theory into practice in clubs and schools across the region. A women only course has been organised for the Scarlets region starting next week, full details at the end of the video.
Bedwas may have surprised a few by finishing the first phase of the Principality Premiership in second spot, but head coach Steve Law is confident his side have enough ability to remain competitive in phase two as they travel to Ebbw Vale to kick off their Tier 1 campaign, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie, hears.
How do you follow a dancing hippopotamus - the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team has just the 'oneness' to do it say the BBC! For a decade the sight of a herd of hippos synchronised swimming around their own private blue lagoon, has lit up our television screens at regular intervals between favourite BBC One shows. But now the nation's most watched channel has relinquished its famous amphibious mammals in favour of a new show-reel which includes the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team.
Treorchy's award-winning secretary Bryan James, Ebbw Vale's Nigel Davies and all four regions on the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We look ahead fo Europe with Rob Evans of the Scarlets, Dan Baker of the Ospreys, Ellis Jenkins of the Blues, as well as Nic Cudd and Tom Prydie of the Dragons.
Ystalyfera's full back and undertaker Steffan Castle applied the killer blow to Abercarn to earn a trip to the Principality Stadium and an appearance in a first WRU National Plate final with a last-gasp drop goal that secured a 24-22 victory.
Shane Williams faces a race against time to join in the biggest day in the history of Amman United when they meet Caerphilly in the WRU National Bowl final at the Principality Stadium on Sunday, 16 April.
Swansea will be hoping Wales Under 20 international Phil Jones can guide them to a much needed win over Bridgend Ravens at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field to keep them in the hunt for a play-off place in Tier 2 of the Principality Premiership.