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Lewis back fit as he signs new deal

Dillon Lewis during training with Cardiff Blues

Lewis back fit as he signs new deal

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Cardiff Blues tighthead Dillon Lewis is relishing the chance to return to action in his side’s European Challenge Cup clash with Leicester Tigers on Sunday after signing a new contract with his boyhood region.

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If selected, the 24-year-old will be playing his first game of the season for the Blues after he picked up an injury in action for Wales against the Barbarians in November.

Lewis says he can’t wait to be back in a Blues jersey after committing his long-term future to the capital side.

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He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign this new deal and commit my long-term future to Cardiff Blues. This is my home region, I have come through the ranks here, and I’m really excited about the future and what we are building.

“I was pleased with the World Cup, but it’s been frustrating to have missed the last month or two due to injury and now I’m just looking forward to getting back on the pitch for Cardiff Blues and doing what I can to help the team.

“We have a really competitive squad and there is a lot of quality at tighthead with Dmitri Arhip, Scott Andrews and Keiron Assiratti all going well. You need that depth to get through the season and it also ensures we are all constantly on our toes and improving.

“It is a squad which is improving and developing and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the next few years.”

Since making his senior Blues debut in 2015, Lewis, who came through the ranks at Pontypridd, has made 50 appearances for the region.

He broke onto the international stage in 2017 and has since won 22 Wales caps. He played  key role in the 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam and Rugby World Cup.

Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill was pleased to secure the future of Lewis who he sees as a key figure.

Mulvihill added: “I’m really happy to have Dillon re-sign at the Blues and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can achieve during this next period.

“He has already achieved a great amount and established himself in the Wales set-up but he has enormous potential to get even better.

“He is also a great bloke around the environment and will be a key figure for us moving forward. With Dillon, Dmitri, Keiron and Scott, we have a good stock of tightheads with a nice blend of youth and experience and they will only drive each other on.”

Ahead of Sunday’s crunch European meeting with the Tigers, Lewis said: “I can’t wait to get back into action with the boys adding to the team as much as I can.

“I was hoping to be back in action after the Barbarians game, but sadly picked up the injury. I was told I would be out for eight weeks and it has been five so that is a positive.

“There is nothing more frustrating than seeing the boys enjoy themselves and knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

“But it was great to see the team pick up two out of three wins in the Christmas derbies. We were unlucky to lose to the Scarlets last weekend.”

The Blues go into Sunday’s clash with Tigers with the opportunity to avenge their last-minute loss at Cardiff Arms Park at the end of last year.

Mulvihill’s side must win at Welford Road to have any hope of qualifying for the Challenge Cup’s knock-out stages.

Lewis added: “Leicester are coming off the back of a good win at the weekend so it’s a big challenge as we know a lot is at stake for us.

“We need the win to move forward. I know there is a lot of history with this tournament with the club, coaches and the boys and I know everyone will take a lot of pride in it.

“We are going to go there for the win and nothing less and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Lewis was a key figure for Wales as they finished fourth at last year’s World Cup. He featured in all seven games Warren Gatland’s side played in Japan.

He hopes to continue learning in his rugby career after a successful stint in the Far East.

Lewis said: “I was lucky enough to get named to go and it was a huge experience for me development wise. Getting that taste of World Cup rugby is something I will never forget.

“It was a new experience for me and a lot of the players around me.

“I was lucky enough to get that start against New Zealand. I have dreamed of playing on the bigger stage of rugby which was fantastic.”

Lewis admits he has competition for the 2020 Six Nations with new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac set to name his squad for the tournament next week.

“My injury came at a rubbish time so I am expecting the worst as Leon Brown and Samson Lee are playing well. I’ll see what happens,” Lewis said.

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Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
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Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
Lewis back fit as he signs new deal
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