By Jack Vavasour
The transfer system in rugby appears alien to most onlookers. With no set window like in football, the market can be unpredictable and difficult to navigate. Players are signed in advance of a season, before seeing out the remainder of that season at their current club.
Cardiff Blues have taken advantage of this prior to the upcoming season. Cardiff have had a mixed season, in Europe they only managed two wins and are currently 4th in Conference A in the Pro 14. In the Pro 14 they have managed 10 wins, yet when matched with 8 losses this can be considered somewhat disappointing.
Despite this, they are the most successful Welsh side this term. This is less of an achievement and instead more telling of the Welsh regional system and the clubs as a whole. Following a Grand Slam, underwhelming Welsh club performances are more than confusing.
However, Cardiff have looked to overturn this dive in Welsh fortunes by announcing two marquee signings in the shape of Hallam Amos and Josh Adams. Amos moves from a bottom of the league Dragons in search of silverware, or even just a victory. The Dragons are by far the worst Welsh side, both in results and with regards to the running of the side. In 2017 they were taken over by the WRU in order to help with the massive financial issues they had been having. They made big signings such as Ross Moriarty and Richard Hibbard before the current season. Since then they have lost head coach Bernard Jackman and continued their poor form in all competitions. Amos will be glad to move to an up and coming club in the shape of Cardiff Blues.
Adams, a Six Nations hero, joins from struggling Premiership side Worcester Warriors. In a sense it is a shame that Adams is returning to a system that didn’t give him his opening and is turning his back on a club that has done so much for him and his career, seeing him finish as the Premiership’s top try scorer in the 2017/18 season. However, in order to continue to play for his country then he must trade in his Warriors shirt for a Blues jersey. International rugby is the gold-standard for rugby and Adams must continue his phenomenal form for Wales.
These two signings signal Cardiff’s intent for the future, with an increasing number of impressive players among their ranks. They have also managed to convince a good percentage of this current crop to extend their stay at Cardiff Arms Park.
With a number of Welsh players currently playing their rugby outside of Wales in England and France, the Blues could announce more star signings with players flooding home in order to further their international careers. Cardiff appears the place to be as the most successful Welsh side domestically this year and being the only side with a stable future.
Watch this space.