Ulster skills coach Dwayne Peel has agreed to become senior assistant coach at Cardiff Blues.
This season will be the former Wales international’s last in Belfast, signing a ‘long-term contract’ to switch to Cardiff Arms Park where he will oversee the team’s attack.
Peel moved into coaching with Bristol Bears after retiring at Ashton Gate in 2016, where he achieved promotion to the Premiership prior to leaving for the Kingspan the following year.
Ulster, currently unbeaten in the PRO14 atop of Conference A, has been home for Peel ever since. But a return to Wales had always been on the mind of the former British & Irish Lion.
“I am really excited to come back to Wales with this opportunity at Cardiff Blues, which was impossible to turn down,” said Peel, capped 76 times by his country.
“I have really enjoyed my time with Ulster Rugby and remain incredibly grateful to everyone at the Kingspan Stadium. I feel like I have made a good contribution in Ulster and we have developed an attractive, all round style of play.
“But to come back home to Wales and play a part in developing the next generation of players is really exciting. Cardiff Blues have a wealth of young attacking talent and enormous potential.
“I remain full committed to Ulster for the remainder of the season and I’m determined to leave with success before joining Cardiff Blues.”
Peel will step into the shoes of Richie Rees, who will remain at the region, next summer.
This season Ulster are averaging 5.1 tries per match, while Blues have scored only 15 points more than the PRO14’s worst attack, Zebre (101 in eight games).
Cardiff Blues director of rugby John Mulvihill stressed the input of Peel and Rees in the team’s attack should get the team performing at its optimum.
“He’s had an excellent run at Ulster over the past four seasons and his record there attests to his coaching ability,” said Mulhill.
“Dwyane’s role as a senior coach within our program will focus primarily on our attacking framework and the strategy and delivery of this both on and off the field. Richie Rees will continue as our backs coach and work closely with Dwayne to deliver world best practice to our backline.