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Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Monday, 21 February 2011

Blues urged to keep Martyn Williams on at the region

Scrum V discusses Martyn Williams

Wales dual-code international legend Jonathan Davies says Cardiff Blues should reward flanker Martyn Williams with a new deal for his loyalty.

The 35-year-old flanker had been expected to leave the Blues at the end of the 2010/11 season.

But BBC Sport Wales understands the Blues are working on their budget with a view to keeping 98-cap Williams.

"It's a difficult position for the region and the player I suppose," said Davies.

"You've got the World Cup - will Martyn go, won't he go? - How many games will he play for the Blues?

"Sometimes you've got to reward them for a bit of loyalty. He's been there a long time.

"Whether he stays or goes, he's going to get a club. He's been world-class so he's not going to have a problem wherever he goes, or if he stays."

Blues director of rugby Dai Young has already hinted that British and Irish Lions flanker Williams could still have a future with the region after the end of this season.

"I wouldn't write off he's not going to be here for definite next year," said Young.

"It has been well-documented that Martyn is not here next year. It certainly hasn't come from my mouth.

Martyn Williams
Martyn Williams has won 98 Wales caps since 1996

"What we have said: we have to get down to a sensible budget. [We] can't spend more than obviously we can afford and at the moment the whole squad is being reviewed.

"Players coming out of contract - Martyn and the like - are under more pressure obviously because you have got to find more money to re-sign them.

"But it is something we are working through over the next two to three weeks. Martyn is fully in the picture.

"It is something we have got to do: review the whole squad, see where we are, make sure we have got the right areas plugged for next year and try to maintain as much quality and experience as we can."

As well as Williams, fellow Wales star Tom Shanklin's contract is also up at the end of the season.

Young's comments are set to be a boost for Williams especially after what Blues chairman Peter Thomas said in January suggesting his and Shanklin's contracts would not be renewed.

"Old Father Time catches up with everybody," Thomas told the Magners League website.

"They [Williams and Shanklin] are both coming out of contract and part of the cutbacks are that people who are out of contract can't be retained because other people are in contract.

But while Williams, who was left out of Wales' 28-man Six Nations squad, could be retained, the Blues' other star flanker Sam Warburton is definitely being kept after he signed a new contract on Tuesday, as did Wales wing Tom James.

"Sam is obviously one of our young internationals. He has come through the system and it is important for us to retain the quality and build on the quality that we have got. He is one." insisted Young.

"We are going to be in the phase of rebuilding over the next 18 months but you want to build on top of quality."

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see also
Warburton & James commit to Blues
16 Feb 11 |  Welsh
Blues 11-3 Leinster
19 Feb 11 |  Cardiff Blues
Williams 'still has Wales future'
24 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Young to start Blues 'rebuilding'
23 Jan 11 |  Cardiff Blues
Williams omitted from Wales squad
23 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Connacht sign Jarvis and Loxton
15 Feb 11 |  Connacht
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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