BOSS John Mulvihill says Cory Hill will be a role model for Cardiff Blues after the Wales lock's move from the Dragons was finally confirmed.

The Rodney Parade region announced that their former captain would be leaving in April and on Wednesday evening their rivals from the Arms Park unveiled their man on a "long-term deal".

The way that the move materialised angered the Dragons, who called for an investigation three months ago.

The Welsh Rugby Union took the lead in negotiations for a new deal as part of a new funding model that sees national boss Wayne Pivac select 38 Test players, with the governing body contributing 80 per cent of the regional deals.

The Dragons helped to turn Hill into an international after he was released by the Blues in 2012.

The 28-year-old from Maesycoed was signed by Lyn Jones after a short spell with Moseley in the English Championship and went on to make 110 appearances.

His performances earned a first Test call-up in 2016 and he has won 25 caps since making his debut against Australia, co-captaining his country on the 2018 summer tour.

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Hill will return to the capital as an established international and with unfinished business after making 16 Blues appearances until he was let go.

Mulvihill said: "We are naturally delighted that Cory has opted to join us here at Cardiff Blues and it is another statement highlighting our ambition.

"Strengthening the front five has been a focus in our recruitment and the signing of Cory is a step towards that.

"He is an established international, who is not only a big, physical and athletic presence but he is a role model and leader, who will play a key role in mentoring some of our younger players.

"He is a player from, and passionate about, this region so it is great to get him back here and we are looking forward to him playing a key role as we build for the future."

When Hill's departure was announced he said on social media that he needed a fresh challenge, a statement that he has reiterated when thanking the Dragons.

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He said: "I'm really excited to be returning to Cardiff Blues. This is where I began my career, where I came through the ranks and I have a huge amount of friends at the club.

"I will always be grateful to the Dragons, and their supporters, for the seven years I enjoyed at Rodney Parade. I have so many fond memories and immense pride from captaining them.

"However, I feel now is the time for a fresh challenge and a new direction in my career. There is a huge amount of talent in the Blues squad and a lot of young boys coming through with potential.

"I have been really impressed with John Mulvihill's vision for the Blues and the style of play they are trying to implement, especially at the Arms Park.

"The competition for places will be intense but I am looking forward to linking up with them, playing my part and contributing to what is a really exciting future."

Hill's exit will leaves Matthew Screech as the Dragons' senior lock while Joe Davies' work rate impressed director of rugby Dean Ryan last season.

Brandon Nansen's future remains uncertain – his contract is expiring but the Samoa lock is in talks over a fresh deal – while Welsh-qualified Joe Maksymiw is joining from Connacht, although nothing has yet been confirmed.

Max Williams, 22, will look to push on in 2020/21 and 19-year-old Ben Carter is rated highly by the Dragons and the Wales Under-20 management.

Ryan is looking into bolstering his tight five but also has back-rowers Lewis Evans and Huw Taylor as options if the right candidate is not available.