Cardiff Blues have announced the appointment of Dai Young as the club’s interim director of rugby, replacing the outgoing John Mulvihill.
It is Young’s first step back into rugby after leaving Wasps last February, ending a nine-year association with the club he coached both at Adams Park Stadium and the Ricoh Arena.
The former Wales prop will start work immediately at Cardiff Blues, but will take on a watching brief for this weekend’s PRO14 derby against the Scarlets.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to return to Cardiff Blues,” said Young. “This is a club I obviously know very well and am passionate about. I have a huge affinity with the area and many fond memories at the Arms Park.
“There is already an exciting squad in place, with a lot of young talent coming through and staff that are already well known to me.
“I enjoyed nine great years here previously and return to Wales with a further nine years of experience in a different environment, culture and league structure with Wasps.
“Now is the right time to return to rugby and to do so with my home region is brilliant. I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting started and helping to move the Blues forward.”
The agreement between Young and Cardiff Blues will initially operate on an interim basis, but there is a view to holding talks in the coming weeks over signing a long-term deal.
Young, who starred for Cardiff, Wales and the British & Irish Lions, previously enjoyed a nine year spell as director of rugby with Cardiff Blues, in which he recorded a win-rate of more than 60 per cent across five seasons.
He won the EDF Energy Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup, and was a penalty shootout away from a Heineken Cup final, before joining Wasps in 2011.
Young steps into the shoes of Australian John Mulvihill, whose exit at the region had been reported on Tuesday before finally being confirmed by Cardiff Blues late Thursday afternoon.
Negotiations over a contract extension had been held but Mulvihill has decided to return to Australia and end his near three-year stay in Wales.
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland commented: “I would like to thank John for all of his efforts during his time at the club.
“With the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, it has become an increasingly difficult time in both professional rugby and John’s personal circumstances. He has not seen three of his daughters for two years now and this has played a significant part in the decision.
“Therefore it makes sense for both parties to move on immediately and we now wish John, Tracey and the girls all the very best for the future.
“We were acutely aware of the need to bring on board an experienced director of rugby and Dai ticks all the boxes.
“He has an enormous history at the Arms Park, is passionate about the team and has added further vast experience while at Wasps for nine years.
“We are delighted to welcome him back to Cardiff Blues and are excited about the impact he can make within our set-up.
“While this is initially only a short-term deal, I know Dai’s desire is to come to a long-term agreement and he will be part of our process.
“There has already been widespread interest in the position and Nigel Walker will now led a selection panel, which will convene to agree the best outcome for Cardiff Blues.”