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Dai Young appointed Cardiff Blues director of rugby on long-term deal

Dai Young is staying on at Cardiff Blues, having signed a long-term contract to become the club’s permanent director of rugby.

The 53-year-old dual code international returned to the Arms Park on an interim basis in January, following the departure of John Mulvihill.

At the time, the agreement was he would be at the helm until the end of the season, with a decision pending on any longer term appointment.

Now it’s been confirmed he is to continue in the role which he previously held for nine years before moving to Wasps in 2011.

“It’s really pleasing to have agreed a long-term deal ahead of next season and I’m looking forward to the future here at Cardiff Arms Park,” he said.

“Cardiff is obviously a team I am passionate about and have a long association with, but this interim period has also allowed both parties to have a good look at each other and allowed me to satisfy my mind that this is the right decision and I can make the impact here that I’d like.

“I am confident that this squad, which has so much potential, wants to improve and is willing to put in the necessary work, while the facilities required to underpin our goals and objectives have now been agreed and are progressing.

“There is still a long way to go, as we saw against London Irish, but I am confident there is a lot of improvement and development to come. They are a hard-working and honest group, with a lot of young and exciting talent.

“I have also been very impressed with the board, who have been very sensible and understand what is required to move forward.

“We want to compete at the business end of the season in all of the competitions we play in and while it will take time, I am confident we now have a clear, long-term plan in place.

“This is just the start of that journey but it is a project I am really excited about and I look forward to working with the rugby staff, Richard Holland and his executive to achieve these goals.”

The likelihood is Young will be joined on the management team by former Arms Park attack coach Matt Sherratt, who is lined up to come on board from Worcester for next season.

Sherratt would fill the vacancy created by the Blues releasing ex-Wales and Lions scrum-half Dwayne Peel from his three-year contract to link up with the Scarlets. Ulster coach Peel was originally due to arrive at Cardiff Blues this summer.

As for former prop Young, he has guided Cardiff to four wins from seven matches since arriving an interim basis at the beginning of the year.

His permanent appointment has followed a review by a selection panel led by advisory board member Nigel Walker, the former Wales wing.

Chief executive Richard Holland, who was also on the panel, said: “We were delighted to bring Dai on board on an interim basis in January and it was always our intention to make it a long-term arrangement.

“We were wary of rushing into a decision in January but now, having undertaken a thorough review and seen at first hand the impact Dai has made, I have no doubt that he is the ideal fit.

“He is obviously a vastly experienced director of rugby but he is also hugely passionate about Cardiff Blues and the region we represent, he fully understands the rugby landscape here and is a good man.

“In just a few months, he has made a significant impact to our environment both on and off the pitch, and we are all very excited about the impact he can have here in the coming years.

“There is a huge amount of improvement still to come from this group, and while we are aware there are always areas we can strengthen, I am confident Dai is the perfect person to lead our rugby programme.”

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