Cardiff Blues have today confirmed the new-look Academy squad for the 2014/15 season.
The conveyor belt of young talent at Blues coming through the age grade pathway continues to provide a strong core of players who have progressed into the senior ranks.
This season a total of 26 players in the senior squad at Blues are Academy products.
The players who are aiming to become the next generation of stars at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park have been confirmed with the 2014/15 squad eager to prove they can graduate into the senior squad.
Academy Performance Manager, Richard Hodges, revealed the Academy squad would be split into gold, silver and bronze groups this season, with only the gold group training at The Vale alongside the senior Blues squad. The groups will be reviewed every three months to ensure players are aspiring to move up and join the gold group.
He said: "We have a strong group of boys in the Academy set-up at Cardiff Blues this season and we look forward to seeing their development this season and beyond.
"We also have a strong group below this with a crop of 16 and 17-year-olds who underpin this Academy and show the strength we now have at Blues.
"A total of 26 players in the senior squad are Academy graduates and that shows the strength of our system. Eight players have moved up this season and 13 over the last two years.
"If you are good enough you will be given the opportunity to progress at our region. Aspiring young rugby players know there is no better region to be a part of and you will be given the chance to shine at Blues."
Blues Academy: Will Baird, Hemi Barnes, Liam Belcher, Ellis-Wyn Benham, Leon Crump, Dafi-Sion Davies, Jack Davies, Mike Hale, Joe Jones, Callum Lewis, Rob Lewis, Matthew Marley, Harri Millard, Lewis Morgan, Sam Parker, Jack Phillips, James Sheekey, Bradley Thyer, Jordan Viggers, James Whittingham.
Click HERE to see the new Academy squad for 2014/15
Cardiff Blues travel to Myreside on Friday to take on Edinburgh Rugby in a crucial Guinness PRO12 clash, and with Wales facing Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, it promises to be a weekend of non-stop rugby action at the Scottish capital. Here are some useful advice to Cardiff Blues travelling supporters.
To celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished Guinness PRO12 Pack Bar, the world famous Irish brewer will be offering supporters free pints of the black stuff ahead of Saturday's clash with Ulster.
'TACKLE' - the first-ever joint community rugby initiative between the four professional teams in Wales has been launched (today Weds 19th October) bringing an inspiring new rugby education programme to young people in Communities First areas. Partners in the project were joined by Wales' star rugby internationals Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets) and Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), for the launch at Aberdare Community School.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.