Cardiff Blues: Jamie Roberts return 'speculation' - Mark Hammett

Jamie Roberts
Jamie Roberts left Cardiff Blues to join Racing Metro ahead of the 2013-14 season.

Director of rugby Mark Hammett suggested changes are in the pipeline for Cardiff Blues but downplayed Jamie Roberts returning.

Reports in France say Roberts and Dan Lydiate and Mike Phillips could leave Racing Metro.

Wales centre Roberts left the Blues to join the Paris-based club in 2013.

"You always look at all options but naturally as a club policy we don't talk about recruitment until it's done," Hammett said.

"Like any recruitment issue you go through the process of talking to the player, talking to the chairman, the CEO and the group as a whole.

"That's really important so it doesn't really matter whether it's the best player in the world, Jamie or whoever it is."

Mark Hammett
Former New Zealand hooker Mark Hammett was appointed Blues new director of rugby in May

Wales coach Warren Gatland says the Welsh Rugby Union has not "instigated contact" aimed at bringing Roberts, Phillips and Lydiate back from Racing Metro.

Racing coach Laurent Labit told French newspaper L'Equipe: "We have raised the subject [leaving] with them. They have never really been that effective since their arrival."

The French club declined to make further comment when contacted by BBC Sport Wales.

Roberts and flanker Lydiate joined Racing ahead of the 2013-14 season while scrum-half Phillips moved there in December 2013 after being dismissed for disciplinary reasons by former club Bayonne.

If they had wanted to play for potential new teams at the start of this season's European competitions on Friday, the trio would have had to have moved before 12:00 BST on Tuesday 14 October.

Clubs may register up to two additional players during the pool stage, each to replace a player previously registered and one such player must be a front row player.

Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rhys on the possibility of senior players returning to Wales:
"In principle it's a sound idea around a World Cup year. I think the Welsh camp have got some good access periods around the autumn and six nations and a great block leading in to the world cup so we know that domestically the Welsh game will service those players better, so I understand it fully short term. But I also think there also needs to be a long term strategy around younger players in Wales where the retention of those players becomes key."

Hammett says one of their European wildcard spot is reserved for Gareth Anscombe, who will join the region on a long term deal from Waikato Chiefs.

Lou Reed has returned from his loan spell at Leicester and New Zealander Hammett said he was looking to move players on from the current squad, a process he admits will not be easy.

"It is something continuously that we're looking at," Hammett said.

"The worst thing in this job is having to move players on.

"I care for people deeply and when you've got to make decisions around moving players it's the worst things in the world.

"When you move a player on ad plan around the vision moving forward, it's done in a way that's respectful to the player and also done in a way that's supportive.

"What I mean by that is can we help find these guys another home."

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