The Welsh rugby transfers to be announced shortly and every exciting signing so far

Aled Davies is set to join Cardiff
-Credit: (Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)

The Ospreys' United Rugby Championship quarter-final defeat at Munster signalled the end of the domestic season for Wales' four regions.

With three months until the start of the 2024/25 season, diehard fans of all four sides will begin looking ahead at the potential squads each region will have next term. Over the past couple of months the regions have announced a raft of both new signings and contract extensions.

While most new recruits are out in the open, there are a few who have yet to be formally announced by each region. It's safe to say recruitment has been tough, considering each side will operate off a salary cap of £4.5m, although two marquee players are permitted above the cap.

The standout signing from a Cardiff point of view is outside-half Callum Sheedy, who returns to his hometown from Bristol Bears in a bid to get back into the Wales squad. But arguably the most significant signing Matt Sherratt has made to date has been experienced Ireland loosehead Ed Byrne from Leinster.

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Byrne is an experienced campaigned who knows the dark arts of the scrum inside out and is a strong replacement for the outgoing Rhys Carre who is re-joining Saracens. Sherratt has also strengthened the tighthead with the signing of Welsh-qualified Danny Southworth from Exeter Chiefs, while Joe Colwell has come on board from Cardiff Met.

Cardiff fans will also be excited at the prospect of back-three livewire Iwan Stephens running out at the Arms Park next season. Stephens, who is also Welsh-qualified, is a deadly broken field runner who should suit the way Sherratt wants his team to play rugby.

The Blue & Blacks have also been busy bolstering their transition group, with Wales Under-18s pair Steffan Emmanuel and Tom Bowen two fine prospects with big futures. Cardiff still have some new signings they need to announce, with scrum-half an area desperately in need of strengthening following Tomos Williams' move to Gloucester.

"Yeah, we are not far away now," said Sherratt after Cardiff's defeat to the Ospreys at Judgement Day. "It's only going to be three or four.

"It will be people from good environments who can help our young boys come through because I'm pretty passionate about... I think we've got something special in the amount of Cardiff boys playing for Cardiff.

"I think it's joined us up with the crowd. I think it has kind of almost brought to life the Cardiff shirt again a little bit because they've grown up wanting to play in it. So, I think we need to build around that with some quality and experience."

WalesOnline understands one of the signings will be former Wales scrum-half Aled Davies from Saracens, while South African scrum-half Johan Mulder from the Lions has also been linked with the club. With Ellis Jenkins having retired, Cardiff have also been linked with Welsh openside Dan Thomas who has left Bristol, while a centre and a second-row are also set to come on board.

Sherratt has also worked hard to strengthen his backroom team, with Wales legend Gethin Jenkins signing a permanent contract as defence coach, South African Corniel van Zyl coming on board from Ealing Trailfinders as forwards coach and Jonny Goodridge.

The Dragons have been the busiest Welsh club in the transfer market, with head coach Dai Flanagan looking to build a squad which can climb up the URC table. Australian second-row Steve Cummins, who previously enjoyed a stint at the Scarlets, will hopefully strengthen the front-five along with former Wales U20s hooker Oli Burrows who returns to the country from Exeter Chiefs.

Back-five forward Shane Lewis-Hughes will add some versatility to the pack after signing from Cardiff, while fans will be really excited to see explosive ball-carrying backrower Solomone Funaki come on board from Moana Pasifika. Behind the scrum Waratahs centre Harry Wilson bolsters the backline, but 12 players will leave the Dragons in the shape of Lewis Jones, Gonzalo Bertranou, Jack Dixon, Max Clarke, Aki Seiuli, Sean Lonsdale, Sio Tomkinson, Corey Baldwin, Chris Hollis and Nathan Evans.

But arguably the most significant recruit is Ospreys legend Filo Tiatia, who joins Flanagan's backroom team in a move which will hopefully change the culture at the club for the better. Flanagan has previously said that recruitment is not finished yet, with Wales full-back Liam Williams having been linked with moves to Cardiff, Dragons and Ospreys.

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth has been extremely smart in the transfer market thus far with the recruitment of Scarlets loosehead Steffan Thomas a shrewd acquisition. The loss of Nicky Smith to Leicester Tigers is a huge blow, but Thomas is a strong scrummager who should improve under Booth's and Duncan Jones' expert guidance.

The big-name signing is Wales scrum-half Kieran Hardy, who makes the short journey across the Loughor bridge from arch-rivals the Scarlets. One intriguing piece of recruitment is Welsh-qualified second-row Will Greatbanks who joins from French PRO D2 outfit Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente.

Those who have seen the 21-year-old play describe him as an abrasive carrier who thrives in the tight exchanges. But arguably the most exciting signing is Phil Cokanasiga who comes on board from Leicester Tigers.

The 22-year-old, who can play in the back-three and in midfield, is an explosive carrier, with pace and a strong offloading game. Cokanasiga should play a big part next season and should former a potent midfield alongside either Keiran Williams or Owen Watkin.

Of course, a group of players will be leaving the club including senior Wales internationals George North and Alex Cuthbert, Mat Protheroe and Irish second-row Jack Regan.

The Scarlets have also been reasonably busy in the transfer market and have targeted the front five as an area in desperate need of strengthening. The Scarlets will have a whole new front-row next season, with Scotland international loosehead Alec Hepburn joining from Exeter Chiefs, highly-rated South African hooker Marnus van der Merwe coming on board from the Cheetahs and experienced Wales tighthead Henry Thomas now announced as a new signing from former Top 14 champions Castres.

The west Walians have also added a second-row in the shape of Australian lock Max Douglas from Yokohama Canon Eagles. Dwayne Peel's side have lost a lot of experience in the back-three following Johnny McNicholl's decision to return to the Crusaders and Ryan Conbeer not being offered a new contract.

The Scarlets have decided to add Welsh-qualified flyer Ellis Mee from Nottingham, while Canterbury utility back Blair Murray is also expected to join. Fans of the club will be hoping they can tie down Wales centre Johnny Williams and Scotland lock Alex Craig on new long-term contracts.

The Scarlets have also been adding players to their senior academy/transition group with the likes of Wales U18s stars Tiaan Sparrow, Will Evans and Jac Pritchard signing contracts.