Scrum V's 2014-15 ins & outs: Moves that made the headlines

Lee Byrne and Leigh Halfpenny
Lee Byrne returns to Wales while full-back Test successor Leigh Halfpenny (right) crosses the channel

As Welsh rugby gears up for a competitive season which starts on Friday, Scrum V recaps the big-name moves and who will feature for the four regions in 2014-15.

Adam Jones became the biggest Welsh rugby headline-stealer with his shock signing for Cardiff Blues after being an Osprey since 2003.

But the British and Irish Lions prop's switch after season-long speculation was not the only move to make fans sit up and take notice.

With a new coach in New Zealander Mark Hammett, Blues also played their part in making Kiwi-born, Welsh-qualified utility back Gareth Anscombe a summer recruit.

Anscombe could become one of the small number of Wales-based players to play under a new Welsh Rugby Union dual contract.

Gareth Anscombe joins Cardiff Blues from the Chiefs
Gareth Anscombe joins Cardiff Blues from New Zealand side the Chiefs

Anscombe's arrival at the Arms Park could offset another major move; that of Wales and Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny's switch to Toulon.

Another Wales and Lions star, Jonathan Davies, is also playing in France, in his case at Clermont Auvergne.

And having been put off returning to Newport Gwent Dragons by the now-resolved WRU-regions' impasse, lock Luke Charteris moved from relegated Perpignan to Racing Metro.

Utility back James Hook also left the Catalans, in his case for Gloucester, where another former Osprey, hooker Richard Hibbard will ply his trade.

And if losing Wales and Lions hooker Hibbard was not enough of a blow, three other similarly-qualified forwards also departed Liberty Stadium in 2014.

Lock Ian Evans (Bristol), prop Jones and back-five forward Ryan Jones (Bristol) have also left the Swansea-based region.

Newport Gwent Dragons

Headline news: Wales and Lions full-back Lee Byrne, who also becomes captain, returns alongside Wales wing Aled Brew and veteran lock Ian Gough.

In: Ian Gough (London Irish), Aled Brew (Biarritz), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Boris Stankovich (Leicester Tigers), David Young (Jersey), Lloyd Fairbrother (Exeter Chiefs), Rynard Landman (Cheetahs), Andy Powell (Wigan Warriors), Rhys Buckley (Moseley), Juan 'Brok' Harris (Western Province).

Out: Dan Evans (Ospreys), Adam Hughes (Bristol), Will Harries (released), Francisco Chaparro (La Plata, Argentina), Rob Sidoli (Pontypridd), Ieuan Jones (Blues) Sam Parry (Ospreys), Darren Waters (London Welsh), Jevon Groves (Blues).

Off field: Backs coach Darren Edwards goes to Bath. Kingsley Jones becomes head coach.

Richard Hibbard
Gloucester's Kingsholm will see ex-Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard in home colours


Headline news: Lions forwards Adam Jones, Ryan Jones, Ian Evans and Richard Hibbard depart.

In: Josh Matavesi (Worcester Warriors), Gareth Thomas (Scarlets), Sam Parry (Dragons), Rynier Bernardo (Eastern Province), Dan Evans (Dragons), Cai Griffiths (London Welsh), Olly Cracknell (Leeds academy), Martin Roberts (Bath), De Kock Steenkamp (Stormers).

Out: Adam Jones (Cardiff Blues), Tom Isaacs (Gloucester), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Ryan Jones (Bristol), Ian Evans (Bristol), Mathew Morgan (Bristol), Joe Rees (Worcester).


Headline news: Centre Jonathan Davies leaves for Clermont Auvergne and is replaced as Regan King returns from the French Top 14 club

In: Regan King (Clermont Auvergne), Harry Robinson (Blues), Chris Hala'ufia (London Irish), Rory Pitman (Wasps), Michael Tagicakibau (Saracens).

Out: Jonathan Davies (Clermont), Josh Turnbull (Blues), Aled Thomas (Gloucester), Deacon Manu (retired; coaching in Hong Kong), Nick Reynolds (London Welsh), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys), Sione Timani, Olly Barkley (London Welsh), Gareth Maule (Bristol), Horatiu Pungea, Mike Poole (retired; becomes backs coach at Highfield RFC, Cork), Daniel Thomas (Gloucester).

Off-field: Boss Simon Easterby leaves to coach Ireland's forwards and is replaced by Wayne Pivac, who arrived from Auckland and who was originally appointed as Easterby's assistant ahead of the season. Danny Wilson leaves to become Bristol forwards coach, but stays as part-time scrum coach.

Bradley Davies and Ian Evans will play in England next season
Bradley Davies and Ian Evans will play in England in 2014-15

Cardiff Blues

Headline news: Prop Adam Jones and fly-half Gareth Anscombe arrive while full-back Leigh Halfpenny and lock Bradley Davies leave.

In: Adam Jones (Ospreys), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Tavis Knoyle (Gloucester), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Manoa Vosawai (Treviso), Ieuan Jones (Dragons), George Watkins (Bristol), Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders), Isaia Tuifoa (Taranaki, during 2013-4 season), Jevon Groves (Dragons), Gareth Anscombe (Chiefs), Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino (unattached, Argentina).

Out: Bradley Davies (Wasps), Andries Pretorius (Worcester Warriors), Robin Copeland (Munster), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Chris Czekaj (Colomiers), Luke Hamilton (Agen), Harry Robinson (Scarlets), Thomas Young (Gloucester), Isaia Tuifua (Montauban).

Off field: Phil Davies quits as boss during 2013-14; Mark Hammett (Hurricanes) takes over; Paul John and Dale McIntosh stay to assist.


Players: James Hook moves from Perpignan to Gloucester, Luke Charteris goes from Perpignan to Racing Metro, Dwayne Peel from Sale to Bristol, Dan George goes from Gloucester to Worcester, Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier goes from Pays d'Aix to Worcester, Mike Phillips joins Racing Metro from Bayonne during 2013-14 season.

Coaches: Nigel Davies leaves Gloucester, Mefin Davies goes from Swansea to Worcester.

Dwayne Peel will captain English second-tier club Bristol in 2014-15
Scrum-half Dwayne Peel will captain English second-tier club Bristol in 2014-15
Adam Jones
Adam Jones' career has taken him from Neath to Cardiff Blues via Ospreys