Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti

Props Domachowski and Assiratti agree new Cardiff deals but Welsh player exodus looms

Corey Domachowski and Keiron AssirattiCardiff props Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti have been team-mates since they were 12

Wales props Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti have agreed new deals to stay at Cardiff.

The Arms Park side are in line to lose scrum-half Tomos Williams and prop Rhys Carre to Gloucester and Saracens but have kept the front-row duo.

Domachowski and Assiratti made their international debut in the World Cup warm-up against England in August 2023.

Loose-head Domachowski was selected for the World Cup but tight-head Assiratti was left out.

Domachowski featured in four of Wales’ five games at the global tournament as Warren Gatland’s side were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Argentina.

The duo attracted interested from outside Wales but that would have meant them being unavailable for international rugby.

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Those playing outside of Wales are now required to have 25 caps to represent their country after the number was dropped from 60 in February 2023. Domachowski has six caps to his name, while Assiratti has two.

Domachowski and Assiratti, both 26, have been playing together since they were 12 as they came through the Rhondda Valley schoolboy ranks together.

A year ago the pair faced uncertain futures in the financial issues creating doubts over whether Cardiff could offer them competitive contracts.

The duo established themselves as the region’s first-choice for the second half of the season and were rewarded with places in Wales’ World Cup training squad.

Player exodus?

Cardiff players Rhys Carre & Tomos WilliamsCardiff players Rhys Carre and Tomos Williams both played for Wales during the 2019 World Cup in Japan

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It is some welcome news as Wales faces the prospect of another exodus of players with budgets for the four professional sides being reduced from £5.2m to £4.5m for the 2024-25 season.

Cardiff coach Matt Sherratt has admitted there will be player movement at the end of the season, while Ospreys boss Toby Booth has highlighted the lack of budget clarity after this campaign as a major issue in trying to offer long-term deals.

Centre George North has already announced he is leaving Ospreys to join Provence next season, while prop Nicky Smith is also attracting attention and Dragons are trying to keep hold of Aaron Wainwright, Rio Dyer and Leon Brown.

There are already a number of players based outside Wales from the 2023 World Cup squad.

Nick Tompkins, Louis Rees-Zammit, Tommy Reffell, Dafydd Jenkins, Christ Tshiunza, Dillon Lewis, Tomas Francis, Henry Thomas and Will Rowlands are currently plying their club trade in England or France, while Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe signed for clubs in Japan.

Fly-half Rhys Patchell, who missed the global tournament last year, has signed for the Highlanders in New Zealand, while Leigh Halfpenny, who has retired from international rugby will play for the Crusaders in 2023-24.

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