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Habberfield joins academy staff

Age Grade & Academy | 7th January 2020

Cardiff Blues have appointed Tom Habberfield as their new academy skills coach.

The scrum-half, who is also a trained teaching assistant and enjoyed several successful spells coaching within the Ospreys age-grade set-up during his eight seasons at the region, joined Cardiff RFC in the summer and has impressed at the Arms Park.

He has made 10 appearances for the Blue & Blacks and has also represented Cardiff Blues A in the Celtic Cup.

But he now links up with the Cardiff Blues Academy, joining the likes of Gruff Rees, Gethin Jenkins and Thomas Rhys Thomas in developing the next generations of talent.

Academy manager Gruff Rees said: “We’re really pleased to appoint Tom to this academy position.

While he’s obviously someone we know well, and value his character and intellectual property, it was a robust and open process with almost 100 applicants from across the rugby world.

“However, in both the formal and practical assessments Tom was a standout with a real understanding of the role and how we engage and challenge the players and staff while appreciating the demands on young, elite rugby players.

“We look forward to seeing him add to the quality coaching we are proud to have in the Cardiff Blues academy and see him growing and supporting the programme for years to come.

“We’re also grateful to the WRU, notably Gareth Williams and Dan Clements, in their support of this process.”

During an impressive regional career, Habberfield, who came through the ranks at Bridgend, made 135 appearances for the Ospreys. The 27-year-old also represented Wales Sevens and Wales Under-20s.

Now he is relishing the next step in his career as he balances representing Cardiff RFC with nurturing talent.

Habberfield said: “I’m really excited about this new challenge and grateful to Cardiff Blues for the opportunity to take this next step in my career.

“As a player who has come through an academy system in Wales, I am well aware of what is required, and I want to help young players develop and deliver on the potential.

“I have seen at first-hand what players can achieve if you get things right at this stage and I’ve been really impressed with the academy set-up at Cardiff Blues and the wealth of talent and experience within it.

“I did a lot of coaching during my time at the Ospreys and I’m looking forward to taking that next step and doing everything I can to develop and nurture the next generations of talent coming through at the Cardiff Blues.”