James Botham – grandson of England cricket great Sir Ian Botham – has signed a first senior contract with Cardiff Blues.

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The 21-year-old made his Guinness PRO14 debut for the Blues earlier this season, and he is a former Wales Under-20 international.

The Blues announced deals for back-row forward Botham, whose father Liam was a Cardiff player between 1997 and 2000, prop Keiron Assiratti and flanker Shane Lewis-Hughes.

“It’s great to sign my first professional deal, and I am really happy it’s at Cardiff Blues, where I’ve spent the last three years in the academy,” Botham said.

“You only have to look at the likes of Owen Lane, Jarrod Evans and Dillon Lewis to see how quickly young players can progress at Cardiff Blues, so this is definitely the right environment for me to improve as a player.”

Botham was born in Cardiff and he has also represented Wales in sevens and at under-18 level.

His father Liam Botham also played professional rugby for Newcastle Falcons and Leeds Tykes after ditching cricket in 1997, as well as for England 21s.

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