Nick Tomkins: Blues keen on Saracens' Wales squad centre, says coach Mulvihill

Nick Tompkins takes on Exeter's Ian Whitten
Nick Tompkins was capped at under-20 by England

Cardiff Blues are 'keeping an eye' on Wales squad call-up Nick Tompkins after almost signing the centre last season.

Coach John Mulvihill is an admirer of the uncapped 24-year-old Saracens back who was included in Wayne Pivac's first Six Nations squad on Wednesday.

"We were close to signing Tompkins last year but Project Reset slowed that down and he decided to stay at Sarries," said Mulvihill.

"But long-term you'd like to think that he'd be coming back this way.".

Tompkins, who was a surprise Wales inclusion, qualifies courtesy of his maternal grandmother, Enid, who was born in Wrexham.

Mulvihill has been monitoring the player for some time: "He's probably slid under the radar for the last couple of seasons," he said.

"He's played some good minutes for Sarries and if he's not in the starting XV he's always on the bench and comes on and he's been in some of their big wins.

"We'll keep an eye on him and we've spoken to his management before so we'll keep that in mind," Mulvihill added.

Tompkins is contracted to Saracens until the summer of 2022, though the North London club are trying to cut costs to comply with the salary cap regulations.

The Premiership champions in four of the past five seasons, Saracens were docked 35 points and fined £5.36m in November for breaching the rules.

Saracens owner Nigel Wray's business dealings with some senior players were judged to be a circumvention of the rules.

Interim chief executive Edward Griffiths has admitted pay cuts and releasing players may be necessary to comply with regulations this season, with Wales and Lions full-back Liam Williams already on his way back to Scarlets.