John Mulvihill is looking forward to an exciting new chapter in his coaching career, as the new Cardiff Blues head coach prepares for life in the Welsh capital.
The Australian addressed the Welsh media for the first time on Thursday, at the historic Cardiff Arms Park trophy room.
Mulvihill, who worked alongside former Cardiff RFC coach, Alec Evans, in the early days of his career, is thrilled to have arrived in Wales and believes the opportunity to join Wales’ Capital Region was too good to refuse.
“It’s certainly a club with a lot of history within the game. Probably closer to me was my mentor, Alec Evans, coached here in the mid-90s and he spoke to me about the fond memories he had of coaching in Cardiff,” said Mulvihill.
“He told me about the city and the club and it’s just the right mix for me to get involved with the place going forward.
"This is going to be my 21st year as a professional coach. I’ve coached in Ireland, in Australia with Super Rugby and in Japan for the last nine seasons so the next step for me was always to come back to Europe.
"It was something we had to tee up with the family and it’s an opportunity that came around at the right time for us.
Mulvihill arrives at the Arms Park on the back of a stunning Challenge Cup triumph, where Cardiff Blues sealed their second European trophy following a last minute victory over Gloucester.
The head coach believes it’s important for him to keep the fundamentals of last season’s success, and is delighted to see a settled spine to the squad.
Mulvihill said: ”Some coaches can make the wrong decision of coming into a club and changing everything. For me, it’s about three things - which are keep, stop and start.
“So, keep doing the things that worked really well for the group, stop doing some of the things that make a difference on or off the field and look at how we can be better in those areas and then start doing things.
"Obviously, we can’t just go out with the same type of game plans, so there’s things we need to change and start doing on the field which will allow us to have further success.
“I think I have inherited quite a strong, settled squad.
“Probably the players from 1 to 5 need some back up and some reinforcements there. From 6 to 15, we’ve got some class international players.
“Our biggest change is going to come when we start on the field. At the moment, it’s just a piece of paper with names. I need to make that 3D and get that up and working and look at different ways we can play the game.
“I am sure we are going to have success with what we have, but with a few players to come in and help us as well.”
You can join John Mulvihill at Cardiff Arms Park next season with a 2018-19 Season Membership. With prices starting at just £205 for adults and £35 for under-16s, the Season Membership packages offer unbeatable value as Cardiff Blues return to the European Champions Cup. Buy yours today by clicking hereor calling 029 20 302030