I Cardiff Blues hanno ufficializzato oggi il rinnovo per altre due stagioni di Sam Warburton. Il capitano del Galles, prossimo al traguardo delle 100 partite con i Blues, era stato il primo nel 2014 a firmare un National Dual Contract, contratto che lo vincola alla Welsh Rugby Union in primis e poi alla Region. Il rinnovo del 28enne flanker segue quello di altri big del Galles quali Lydiate (Ospreys), Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons) e Lee (Scarlets) e conferma come l’obiettivo primario della WRU sia quello di trattenere nelle quattro squadre di Pro12 i migliori talenti. In tal senso sta operano lo staff guidato dal CEO Martyn Phillips, le cui parole no a caso hanno parlato anche di programmazione della carriera anche al termine della carriera di giocatore.
Cardiff Blues are delighted to confirm Sam Warburton has signed a new National Dual Contract with the region.
The Wales captain, who has made 96 appearances for the Cardiff Blues, was the first player to sign an NDC back in 2014.
And he has now extended his stay with his home region as one of four Wales internationals to pen new deals – the others being Dan Lydiate, Hallam Amos and Samson Lee.
Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson said: “We’re thrilled that Sam has signed a new National Dual Contract with the WRU and ourselves.
“Sam is obviously a top, international class flanker and has a vast amount of experience. With his leadership ability and having achieved so much in the game he’s a great asset for Cardiff Blues.
“It’s great that he sees his future here and he will be a key figure for us moving forward.”
Warburton, 28, made his regional debut for the Blues against Edinburgh in 2009, and went on to win his first Wales Cap in the same year.
To date he made 67 Test appearances for Wales, winning two Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam and two during the British & Irish Lions Test Series victory over Australia, in which he was captain.
The retention of Warburton and Lydiate (Ospreys), Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons) and Lee (Scarlets) provides a major boost to Welsh rugby.
Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive, Martyn Phillips said: “I’m delighted that we are able to announce that four international stars have re-emphasized their commitment to the game here in Wales by re-signing National Dual Contracts.
“Having our best players, playing here in Wales is vital to the future health of our game. We have made no secret of that and the importance both on and off the field at Regional and National level in Welsh players playing their rugby in Wales.
“The close working relationship and ambition shared with the Regions is crucial in our ability to retain players. Together we believe we are creating an environment that players want to play in and will get the best out of them on the field.
“In addition our player centered approach, is not only helping extend their playing career but also helping with success in their career after rugby.
“Seeing international players re-sign these contracts highlights the success of the programme as we continue to work hard to drive the game forward.”