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Cudd happy having old pal as new coach

Cudd happy having old pal as new coach

Nic Cudd is now playing at Carmarthen Quins

Nic Cudd used to play with and against Cardiff Rugby skipper Josh Turnbull, but these days he is being coached by him.

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The two back row men came through the ranks together at Llanelli and played in the pack as Sam Warburton for Wales U20. Cudd went off to spend eight seasons at the Dragons, while Turnbull stopped off in Cardiff for the second phase of his regional career.

But now the two friends and rivals have been reunited at Carmarthen Quins in the Indigo Group Welsh Premiership. Turnbull has taken doubled up on his duties as Cardiff captain to be forwards coach, while Cudd has come out of retirement to play again.

“Josh Turnbull and I go back to my earliest days at Llanelli and we also played age grade rugby together for Wales,” said Cudd.

“I played against him many times in my professional career at the Dragons and he has had a great career and is still going strong. He has very quickly earned the respect of the players at Quins.

“He has brought in a number of new things and the fact he is still a current player at the highest level means he is right up to date with all the new laws and coaching techniques.

“We’ve had a good start to the season and the cup competition we’re currently playing in it’s a great build up to the league season that will start in earnest next month.”

Having turned 33 last week, and with two ACL injuries now thankfully behind him, the best back row forward of his era never to get a cap is preparing to pass on his knowledge and skills to a younger generation of players in the Premiership.

“I always thought I might go back to playing, but I wasn’t 100% sure. I didn’t want to get to 36 and regret having hung up my boots three or four years too early,” said Cudd.

“Injuries are part and parcel of the game and I had more than my fair share of them. In the end it was two ACL ruptures which stopped me from continuing at the Dragons.

“I was out for two full seasons and then, when I finally made it back, I had one game for Ebbw Vale before COVID hit. I went to do some coaching with Tumble Youth and I also helped out with the seniors, but fancied getting back involved as a player.

“I don’t think I’m the oldest in the side, that honour goes to Rhys Lawrence, and I’m just enjoying being part of a team again at Carmarthen.

“There are some very good youngsters coming through and I hope I can pass on some of my knowledge to them. When I first started at Llanelli I was able to learn from backrow giants like Simon Easterby, Dafydd Jones and Dave Lyons.”

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