Cardiff and Wales wing Mason Grady has become a prime target for several English clubs. The 21-year-old talent, whose contract with Cardiff is set to expire this summer, has caught the eye of Bath, Saracens, Exeter Chiefs, and Sale.
A product of Cardiff’s academy, he has made a name for himself with powerful performances in the Welsh Premiership. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches and weighing 16 stones, Grady’s physical prowess was on full display during his Test debut against England at the Principality Stadium.
Despite having played only 34 senior games for Cardiff, he earned a spot in Warren Gatland’s World Cup squad last autumn and has continued his impressive form, scoring five tries in nine appearances this season.
Cardiff faces a tough challenge in retaining their homegrown talent, especially amid ongoing budget constraints. The club has already experienced the loss of notable players like Tomos Williams, Liam Williams, Dillon Lewis, Max Llewellyn, and Jared Evans.
The upcoming reduction in funding to £4.5 million for the 2024-25 season, down from £7 million, only adds to the pressure. The possible departure of scrum-half Williams this summer further highlights the club’s predicament.
Grady himself has expressed a strong desire to prove himself on the international stage. However, moving to an English club could impact his eligibility for the Wales team, as players based outside the country require a minimum of 25 caps; Grady currently has six.
Cardiff’s head coach, Matt Sherratt, acknowledges the interest in Grady and other key players, a common occurrence during contract renewal periods. The club remains hopeful that a potential takeover could stabilise its financial situation.
In the meantime, players like Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti have renewed their contracts, while rumours remain about Rhys Carre’s potential move to Gallagher Premiership outfit Saracens.
The situation underscores the challenges faced by Welsh regions in retaining talent amid financial constraints and the allure of English clubs. Grady’s decision to stay with Cardiff or move will be a significant moment in his burgeoning career.