Thursday, 23 May 2013

Blues sign student Normandale from Cardiff Met

Cardiff Blues have signed young second row prospect Miles Normandale from Cardiff Met – a prodigy of the famed Colston School in Bristol.

The student says of how his move came about: “I was playing in a Cup [match] for Cardiff Met against Cardiff RFC and had one of my best games of the season. Richard Hodges, the Blues Academy Manager, was there and came over to speak to me to see if I’d be interested in joining.

“I’ve had a good three years at Cardiff Met, studying rugby coaching, but also learning the ins and outs of lots of different sports. I would play [rugby] twice a week and you pick up a lot of new tricks off the Saturday teams and try to take the hardness of that into the Wednesday leagues.

“Cardiff Met has a really good set up for rugby. Chris Davey is the head coach and puts a lot of work into everything we do and he knows a lot about the game. He puts a lot into the analysis of the game as well.”

A product of Marlwood School in Bristol, Normandale first thought about a career in rugby after moving to Colston School for sixth form.

Colston has a rich rugby history with nearly 30 former pupils playing top flight rugby in the English Premiership over recent years - Gareth Delve, Olly Barkley, Shane Geraghty and Tom Varndell  among them.

Normandale also enjoys living in his adopted city, adding: “I’ve had a great time here, it’s a brilliant city to live in. It’s quite a small city so everybody knows each other, but it’s easy to get around. I really enjoy living here.

“I’m just trying to work hard and keep my feet on the ground at the moment. It is very inspiring to be training at the same place as the likes of Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton.

“My goal is to train hard over the summer, to be the best I can be and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Cardiff Blues/WRU performance manager Richard Hodges said: “Miles sprung to the forefront when Cardiff RFC faced Cardiff Met in the SWALEC Cup. He had an outstanding performance at that match, we followed him for a few games including the finals at Twickenham and he stood out.

“He is here to strengthen the second row resourses, and will be here for at least the next two years. His performances are good and he has a tough edge to him as well so I think he could fly in this environment.”

Chris Davey, Cardiff Met director of rugby, said: “Miles has all the physical attributes to be a top rugby player, he’s a great athlete in excellent shape.

“I think he’s ready to make the step up having played regularly in the Championship and Division One. He’s earned his stripes.

“He’s good at the line out, is very mobile and is prepared to take on leadership roles.”


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