Wales hooker Gareth Williams has signed with Cardiff for next season.
The 24-year-old became one of the hottest properties on the market after being told that he would not be part of the Bridgend-Pontypridd province.
In the scramble for players amid the regional squad selections, Williams was targeted by teams on both sides of the Severn. Zurich Championship winners Gloucester were among four English clubs who had entered the race, but Williams has agreed terms with the Arms Park club.
"I really wanted to stay in Wales for the sake of my international career and Cardiff looked the best prospect for me," said Williams.
"I was disappointed not to get into the Bridgend-Ponty province as I love playing for my hometown. But with Mefin Davies at Pontypridd there was no point in us both being at the same province, so in a way the move was expected.
"I had quite a few offers and it's nice to know people want you, but Cardiff have obviously gone all out to improve their squad, especially the pack with Ben Evans and Craig Quinnell.
"I'm really looking forward to playing Heineken Cup rugby and I think Cardiff have every reason to be optimistic for next season. So I'm just really looking forward to next season."
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