Blues seal double deal

Cardiff snap up Ma'afu and Copeland for next season

Last Updated: 16/04/12 8:24am

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Campese Ma'afu: Fijian prop forward will be playing for Cardiff Blues next season

Campese Ma'afu: Fijian prop forward will be playing for Cardiff Blues next season

Sky Bet

Cardiff Blues have strengthened their pack for the forthcoming season having sealed deals for prop Campese Ma'afu and blindside flanker Robin Copeland.

Fiji international Ma'afu will join from West Harbour Pirates in Sydney while Copeland has been playing for Championship club Rotherham Titans - with both having agreed two-year deals.

Copeland, a former Leinster Academy and St Mary's College player, has an eye for the try line after scoring 11 tries in 20 games for the Titans since joining from Plymouth last season.

"A big thing for us as a region and a team is that we should be looking at a three-year cycle of establishing a group of players that will be here to build for the future," Cardiff forwards coach Justin Burnell.

Physical

"Robin is a big physical boy with the ability to cross the gain-line but has the skills and finesse to put people in to finish via his decision making.

"He is 24 years old and has been the outstanding player in the Championship this year. We watched his games a few times, assessed his performances and then viewed him and met him.

"It's important that the player has the right attitude and mind set to fit into the environment. We went through that process and he ticked all the boxes. He might be and unknown quantity with the PRO12 but he will be a surprise package as well."

Exciting prospect

Ma'afu has won 14 caps for Fiji - and even played against his brother Salesi in 2010 when the Pacific islanders faced Australia.

Burnell added: "Campese Ma'afu came to my attention in the 16-16 against Wales.

"I thought he did well in the scrum in certain aspects against Adam Jones, who as we know, is one of the best tight-heads in the world.

"To see him scrum in the World Cup and against New Zealand in the warm up games showed he's an exciting prospect."

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