Tom James: Record try scorer leaves Cardiff Blues

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Tom James

Cardiff Blues have announced Wales wing Tom James will leave the region at the end of the month.

James made 163 appearances in two spells over 11 years and is the region's top try scorer with 60.

The 32-year-old returned to rugby this season after having time out of the game to deal with depression.

"It's been a frustrating season and I would've liked to have worn a Cardiff Blues jersey again but am grateful for the times I've had," said James.

James was part of the Blues side that won the EDF Energy Cup final in 2009 and the Amlin Challenge Cup the following year.

The 32-year-old joined Exeter Chiefs in 2013 before returning to his home region after two seasons.

James stopped playing professional rugby at the end of 2017 after taking an extended break to receive treatment for depression.

He returned to regional league action for the Blues with one appearance this season in January 2019 against Glasgow and has played in the Principality Premiership with Merthyr, Cardiff and Pontypridd.

"The Blues have been unbelievable to me," said James.

"Throughout my break from the game everyone was so supportive, from teammates and coaches to directors and supporters, but particularly the team doctor Gareth Jones, sports psychologist Dale Thomas and our WRPA representative Phil Davies who have been amazing.

Tom James has scored two tries for Wales in his 12 internationals
Tom James has scored two tries for Wales in his 12 internationals

"Cardiff Blues gave me that time off I needed and stood beside me, and when I came back in, they have looked after me.

"It was tough coming back in for pre-season following a long break and that also led to lots of little niggles stunted my progress."

James still believes he still has something to offer in the professional game after leaving the Blues despite having a year left on his contract.

"Over the last two months I've felt like I am hitting my peak again," said James

"I have been pleased with my form in the Premiership and while that is a different level, I feel I stand out.

"I'll just see what happens now. I will be training hard over the summer and if another professional contract comes up, I will look at it with my family because I'm 100 per cent confident I can still do a job at the top level.

"I wanted to get back into that Cardiff Blues first team, but it wasn't to be."

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