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Strange released by Mulvihill's Cardiff

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PRO 14    

Strange twist at Cardiff as John Mulvihill tweaks his coaching staff

Cardiff Blues are reportedly on the lookout for a new attack coach after jettisoning Jason Strange just a year into his role at the Arms Park.

The 2016 Wales under-20s Six Nations Grand Slam-winning coach was John Mulvihill’s first management ticket appointment when the Australian arrived at the club in 2018.

Strange came to the region with a polished reputation as one of the most promising indigenous coaching talents in the country.

However, his efforts during his debut season at Cardiff won’t enjoy a sequel as WalesOnline have reported that Mulvihill has opted to make a change in attack following a disappointing season where the Blues failed to build on their May 2018 European Challenge Cup success.

A fifth-place Guinness PRO14 Conference A finish meant they failed to secure qualification for next season’s Heineken Champions Cup. They managed to score 60 tries in 21 league matches, a strike rate that was only seventh best in the tournament.

This hasn’t been deemed good enough and Mulvihill has reacted by unceremoniously cutting Strange loose with pre-season for the 2019/20 campaign underway.

The recruitment of an established attack from elsewhere would be ideal. However, it’s believed Mulvihill could find a successor for Strange already on the Cardiff Arms books.

Richie Rees, the former Wales scrum-half who debuted at Test level in 2010, has been working at the Blues in their academy and it is felt he is the leading candidate to take up the reins following Strange’s departure.

Strange was snapped by the Welsh Rugby Union for age-grade coaching following a successful five-year stint in charge of Ebbw Vale.

With more than 10 of the Cardiff first team and senior academy squad having worked with Strange at under-20s level, Mulvihill had felt he was the perfect appointment when it was announced in April 2018 he would be coming on board.

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Strange twist at Cardiff as John Mulvihill tweaks his coaching staff