CARDIFF were attracted by Joe Peard's bulk after signing up the young lock after his exit from the Dragons.

The 20-year-old has signed a deal with the Arms Park side after leaving Rodney Parade without making a senior appearance.

The Wales Under-20s forward is raw but Cardiff, attracted by his 6ft 8ins frame, will look to develop the Gwent prospect.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: "We're really pleased to bring Joe on board next season and are looking forward to helping him fulfil his potential.

"At 6ft 8ins and almost 20 stone, he brings something we don't have a lot of in Wales and that's size. You simply cannot coach that.

"He brings a physical and destructive presence and that is something we need more of.

"He's like an old fashioned, tight second-row, who is also athletic and he will now work with our coaches and new teammates to bring on his entire game and fulfil his potential."

South Wales Argus: SWITCH: Joe Peard has moved to Cardiff from the Dragons (Pic: INPHO)SWITCH: Joe Peard has moved to Cardiff from the Dragons (Pic: INPHO)

Peard is the son of former Newbridge lock Mike and his grandfather Les was an international referee before becoming an assessor.

He will look to develop under the senior group of ex-Dragon Matthew Screech, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Teddy Williams, Rory Thornton and new signing Lopeti Timani.

Peard started in the first two matches of this year's U20s Six Nations campaign but then, after being challenged by head coach Byron Hayward to "redeem himself" against England following a poor performance and yellow card in Ireland, lost his spot.

Now he will look to learn and compete with the senior locks in blue and black.

"I'm really excited to join Cardiff and believe it is the best place for me to continue my development and become the best player I can be," said Peard, who played for Ebbw Vale in the Premiership.

"There are a lot of good second rows at the club and I'm looking forward to learning from them, competing with them in training and hopefully kicking on.

"I know some of the coaches well and I've had a lot of good conversations with Dai about the direction he is taking the club and what he believes I can bring.

"Clearly my size and physicality is an attribute but I am eager to develop my whole game and contribute as much as I can to Cardiff."

The Dragons have Wales internationals Will Rowlands and Ben Carter, new recruits George Nott and Sean Lonsdale plus Joe Davies as second-row options.

Ryan Woodman, who is currently playing blindside for Wales U20s, is tipped to be the next to break through.