Cardiff Blues have announced that back row forward Josh Navidi has pledged his future to the region after signing a new long-term contract extension.
Navidi – named the Player-of-the-Year at Cardiff Blues the last two seasons – was in contract until the end of the 2015/16 season.
He has now underlined his unwavering commitment to the region by putting pen to paper on the eve of the new campaign on a deal that will see him extend his stay at Cardiff Arms Park until at least 2019.
Navidi, who is closing in on a century of appearances for Cardiff Blues since making his debut in 2009 against Leinster, is rated as one of the most exciting young talents in the Welsh game.
The Bridgend-born back row previously captained Wales at U20 level and made his senior international debut in 2013 against Japan in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old was in sensational form for Cardiff Blues last season, scoring seven tries in 27 appearances in all competition as he played across the back row.
Head coach Danny Wilson described Navidi's decision to pledge his future to Cardiff Blues as a huge boost on the eve of the new season; that will kick-off on home soil against Zebre on September 6.
"We are delighted that Josh has signed a new long-term contract extension that will ensure he is a key part of our region going forward for many years to come,” said Wilson.
"Josh leads by example in the manner in which he performs every time he steps out on the field for Cardiff Blues.
"He is an outstanding professional within our squad who young players can aspire towards.
"Josh's playing future would have undoubtedly have created interest both home and aboard. But he is a local boy who wants to play his rugby here, has come through our system and has shown his desire to be a part of what we are building here by signing a new deal.”
Navidi expressed his delight with his new deal.
"I am thrilled to sign the new extension ahead of the new season and commit to Cardiff Blues," he said.
"I've come through the system at the region and this is where I want to play my rugby.
"I'm determined to be a part of what I believe is a bright future here. It's an exciting time for us under the leadership of Danny (Wilson) as we look to build and move forward, not just this season but for many more to come.
"I have always had great support here, from the coaching staff, my team-mates and fans, and I'm now looking to repay that and look forward to us all pulling together for a big season at Cardiff Arms Park.”