Cardiff Blues can today announce that former Welsh international Phil Davies has been appointed as Director of Rugby.
Davies played his club rugby for Llanelli and enjoyed a distinguished 46-cap career for Wales between 1985 and 1995.
The ex-Wales captain, born in Seven Sisters, spent a decade at Leeds Tykes between 1996 and 2006 taking the Yorkshire club from Division Three into top-flight Premiership rugby. He steered Leeds to their Heineken Cup debut in 2003 and to a Powergen Cup win in 2005. Davies also spent two years at the Scarlets, leading them to their first Heineken Cup semi-final in eight years.
The former Scarlets and Leeds boss Phil Davies joined Worcester Warriors as a forwards coach from his position at the WRU as Wales Under-20s coach and National Academy Manager in August 2010.
Commenting on the appointment, Cardiff Blues CEO Richard Holland said:
“Phil Davies is a hugely respected coach and we are delighted to have secured him as the new Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby.”
“He has shown during his time at the Leeds Tykes, when he took them from Division Three to the Premiership, that he can develop a young team and deliver success.”
“He is hugely knowledgeable about the game, extremely hard working and we look forward to having him with us for the forthcoming season.”
Speaking of his appointment, Phil Davies said:
“I’m really looking forward to starting the job. It’s a role I’ve been passionate about for a long, long time.”
“The Blues cover a massive region, the biggest in Wales, and it’s a great opportunity for a young group of players and staff to work hard in order to push the region forward and look to build upon the foundations that have been laid over the last eight or nine years, firstly by David Young and more recently, Gareth and Justin.”
“Our aim will be to move forward, play attractive rugby and over time develop the Blues into a very competitive side in all competitions and ultimately win trophies and produce quality players to represent Wales!”
“I know an awful lot of the players from my time at the National Academy and I know not only at the Blues but in the whole of Wales there are some fantastic academy systems producing some good players.”
“There is a lot of change happening and with that comes a element of excitement and uncertainty, with that in mind there will be some growing pains moving forward as we develop the capabilities and experiences of a very talented group of players and staff”
“I know from my time at the Scarlets introducing young players such as Ken Owens, Rhys Priestland, Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams does take some time.”
“They were very young when I was there but look at them now.”
“It’s important that people understand it’s going to time but we are on the starting line here to something really exciting.”
“The players moving on have been fantastic servants to both the region and Wales and we thank them, however this is an opportunity for a new group of people to create their own legacy and that’s what really excites me.”
“I like to develop teams based on a few important principles. We have good basic skills. Some people will say that’s stating the obvious, but I think it is important that we are able to perform the basics well under pressure. We need strong foundations, which are: mean defence, quality kicking game and accurate set piece.
We will look to play the way Welsh players like, which is with flair and expression, hopefully with a lot of tries thrown in”
“That’s the type of rugby I tried to develop at Leeds, the Scarlet’s and during my time with Cardiff RFC.”
“Sometimes things don’t always go to plan, but if you’ve got strong basics and core skills, then you hopefully have the foundations to let players express themselves.”
“With the speed and talent we have in the back line, this will hopefully get people excited to come and watch the Blues watch.”
“I hope this is a fresh start for a young group of players with a new Director of Rugby who has a lot of experience and who will work hard for them and with them.”
“It will be a huge team effort. We want to enjoy what we do, but we are all rugby professionals who represent a fantastic region that has a proud rugby heritage, that responsibility is something we will all take very seriously.”
“We will work hard, have good discipline and team spirit, I want people from around the region to really identify with and be very proud of the team and want to come and watch us play.”