Gareth Thomas, T Rhys Thomas and Leigh Halfpenny have just signed contracts with the Blues
Following on from the news that Andy Powell, Gary Powell, Bradley Davies and Richie Rees have all signed contract extensions with the region, the Cardiff Blues have announce a further three players have also committed their future with the Blues.
Welsh wing sensation Leigh Halfpenny, former Wales and Lions Captain and Wales record cap holder Gareth Thomas, and Wales hooker T Rhys Thomas, have all put pen to paper to keep them with the Blues.
Former Wales Grand Slam winning captain Gareth Thomas has been in outstanding form for the region, having joined the Blues in 2007, and has signed a new contract to keep him with the Blues until the end of the 2010 season.
Thomas, a Heineken Cup winner with Toulouse in 2005, has done it all in the game, having won his 100th cap for Wales against Fiji during the Rugby World Cup in 2007, as well as captaining the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 2005.
Equally comfortable playing in the centre or on the wing, the utility back has been a key player for the Blues this season, giving Director of Rugby David young a few selection dilemmas.
Speaking of the announcement Young said; "Gareth is a quality player which is evident from his record winning 100 caps for Wales and captaining the Lions. His experience in big matches has been invaluable to us and he has really helped bring on some of the younger players in the squad."
"He has kept himself in great condition and even in the Autumn of his career he still has that hunger for the game which is great to see a real example to the other players."
Cardiff Blues today also confirmed that Halfpenny has also extended his contract until 2011. Having shone through the age grade system, Halfpenny made his Cardiff Blues debut against Ulster at Ravenhill in May 2008, scoring three conversions in the 17-26 victory.
The 2008-2009 season has seen Halfpenny's stock rise further becoming a regular on the wing for the Blues with his dangerous running and precise kicking winning many admirers.
Wales coach Warren Gatland rewarded Halfpenny for his excellent early season form by handing him his first cap against world champions South Africa in November 2008. A point scoring debut was followed with a brace of tries against Canada before he was selected to face the mighty All Blacks.
Young said: "Leigh is another product of the Blues Academy in Treforest and we have been delighted with his form for us this season having taken the step up to regional rugby. He has played in some big games for us already this season and nothing seems to phase him. He is an exiting player to watch and the type of player that gets the crowd on the edge of their seats. He is still a young man who is eager to learn and I'm sure he has a bright future with both the Blues and Wales. He is very much part of our squad as we look to build on the progress we have made over recent years."
Originally from the Cynon valley, and a member of the Newport under-21 squad, T Rhys Thomas made his try-scoring debut for the Blues against the Celtic Warriors on December 27 2003. Thomas has also extended his contract with the Cardiff Blues until 2011.
Thomas had plenty of representative experience with the Wales under-21 team, featuring in all five matches played in the 2003 under-21 World Cup in England. In June 2004 he made his debut for Wales as they recorded a 77-3 victory over the USA in Hartford, Connecticut and has gone on to make 27 appearances for his country.
Thomas became only the third player to play 100 games for the Cardiff Blues when they secured victory over the Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park in October 2007 in the EDF Energy Cup.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.