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Dai Young becomes permanent director of rugby with long-term deal

First Team News | 13th April 2021

Cardiff Blues are thrilled to confirm Dai Young has signed a long-term contract to remain the club’s director of rugby.

The dual code legend returned to Cardiff Arms Park on an interim basis in January, having previously spent nine years in the position following his retirement from an illustrious playing career in 2002.

During that time, Young guided the Cardiff through their most successful period of the regional era, winning the EDF Energy Cup in 2009 and Amlin Challenge Cup in 2010, before spending a further nine seasons in England with Wasps.

Having returned to the helm at the Arms Park on an interim basis following the departure of John Mulvihill in January, Young has guided the club to four wins from seven matches. 

He was disappointed with the European Challenge Cup defeat to London Irish two weeks ago but is now relishing the opportunity to guide Cardiff into a new era.

Young said: “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.

“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 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 former Cardiff, Wales and British & Irish Lions tight-head prop was appointed following a thorough review by a selection panel led by advisory board member Nigel Walker, who is vastly experienced in elite performance and sports administration due to his role as National Director of the English Institute of Sport.

Chief executive Richard Holland, who was also on the panel, has been enormously impressed with the impact Young has made at the Arms Park and is now looking forward to a bright future with the long-term contract beginning in July.

Holland added: “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.”