‘Promising’ young Welsh rugby talent gives back to boyhood club

Blues player takes time out to help next generation of rugby stars at Rumney RFC

A CARDIFF rugby player with a bright future has taken time out to help out his old club’s youth side.

Joe Peard, who plays second row for the Cardiff Blues, visited Rumney RFC under-8s training session on November 24.

Peard donated a signed Blues jersey to the club and led the aspiring young rugby stars in several training drills.

“We recently did a fundraiser in which I asked Joe for something to auction, and he managed to get the shirt signed for us,” said Jack Hedges, under-8s coach for Rumney RFC.

“Whilst he was dropping it to me, he took the kids for 20-30 minutes and the kids loved it.”

Cardiff Blues’ Joe Peard posing with Rumney under-8s team (photo credit Rumney RFC)

The 20-year-old comes from a family with a rich rugby history. His father is Mike Peard who captained Rumney before being forced into an early retirement due to a serious knee injury, while his grandfather is former international referee Les Peard.

Peard, who joined the Blues in the summer after leaving Gwent Dragons, has already been tipped by his new head coach as a potential star player.

“At 6ft 8in and almost 20 stone, he brings something we don’t have a lot of in Wales and that’s size. You simply cannot coach that,” said Cardiff Blues head coach Dai Young.

“He brings a physical and destructive presence and that is something we need more of. He’s like an old-fashioned, tight second-row, who is also athletic, and he will now work with our coaches and new teammates to bring on his entire game and fulfil his potential.”

Newport-born Peard has already featured regularly for Wales under-20s side, appearing in both of their 2020 and 2021 Six Nations campaigns.

However, it was at Rumney RFC, a club formed in 1949 by WRU referee Bill Breeze, where the young Peard was first introduced to the game. Featuring for the Cardiff East outfits youth section from under-9s up to the under-16s, before leaving when he was signed by the Dragons academy.

Based at Riverside Park, the club is heavily involved in developing the next generation of local talent, with 12 youth sides stretching from under-18s to under-7s.

And Peard is one of just many future Wales internationals to have featured for Rumney, with the likes of Steve Ford and Jamie Roberts having played in the teams hooped black and blue jersey.

Despite being lauded by many as a potential superstar of Welsh rugby, Peard has not forgotten his roots and has stayed connected to the club where it all started.

“Joe has been an incredible role model for our team, he always makes time in his busy schedule to give back to the club, he defines what rugby is all about.” said Hedges.

“I can’t wait for our team to grow alongside Joe’s rugby career, who knows … some of our boys might be packing down alongside him in years to come.”