Dai Young returns to Cardiff Blues as interim head coach following the departure of John Mulvihill, the region have confirmed.
Mulvihill parted company with the Blues with ‘immediate effect’ with speculation soon mounting that Young would takeover at the capital club.
Young departed Wasps last February after steering the club from second from bottom in the table to three successive Premiership play-offs between 2016 and 2018, including a Premiership final in 2017 when the team was less than a minute away from winning the title.
A former Cardiff, Wales and British and Irish Lions player, Young previously enjoyed a nine-year spell as director of rugby at the region, in which he recorded a win-rate of more than 60 per cent in five seasons.
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland said: “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.”
Young’s storied playing career was headlined by British and Irish Lions call-ups in 1989, 1997 and 2001, while the former tighthead-prop captained Wales on his way to winning over 50 Test caps. He has also played for and coached the Barbarians.
Young said: “I am really excited for the opportunity to return to Cardiff Blues. 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.”
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