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."
This week on the Principality Premiership Podcast, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie talks to Carmarthen Quins head coach Louie Tonkin who is aiming to close the gap on leading duo, Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale, with victory against Bridgend tomorrow.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
The Welsh Rugby Union has signed a new four year deal with specialist equipment supplier Rhino Rugby, which is set to benefit both the grass roots game in Wales and the national squad in equal measure.
We watch the new grass growing and being stitched together in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to Millennium Stadium groundsman Lee Evans, Wales great Ieuan Evans gives an overview on the new strategy announced by head of rugby Josh Lewsey, while we also hear from Bedwas, Aberavon and Carmarthen Quins in the Principality Premiership.
Having just secured a top place finish in the Principality Premiership, Pontypridd are given no time to rest on their laurels as they face a tough away trip to face Cross Keys on Saturday at Pandy Park (KO 2:30pm).