Cardiff Blues defence coach Graham Steadman will leave the club over the summer in news that further weakens an already sparse coaching staff at the Arms Park.
The former Great Britain rugby league international arrived alongside Danny Wilson two years ago, but will depart before the conclusion of the three year plan, with no confirmation that I’m aware of on where he will head next.
Upon the conclusion of his playing career, where he once transferred from Featherstone to Castleford for a world record £170,000 fee, he coached the Tigers to the Super League play-offs and spent some time with the Great Britain coaching staff before switching to Union.
He first joined Munster before stepping up to Ireland’s defence coach, helping them win the Triple Crown in 2007. Spells with Scotland, Sale and Newcastle followed before he joined Cardiff in the summer of 2015.
In the first season under his command there was a certain improvement of the defence from the final year of Dale McIntosh’s reign, with tries conceded coming down despite the tricky task of four Irish away games during the World Cup to start the season.
However, this season has seen a marked deterioration in the quality of our defence. Cardiff have conceded 118 tries so far this season in all competitions, the most in the professional era, with only the bottom three Pro12 teams leaking more points overall.
Problems have swung between issues with the shape of the defence in the middle of the season, before poor tackling began to plague the team in recent weeks, culminating in 24 missed tackles against Zebre last week.
With Billy Millard and Paul John also departing it now leaves just Danny Wilson and Matt Sherratt as full-time senior coaches contracted ahead of next season.
Coleg y Cymoedd Director of Rugby Clive Jones is set to join the staff with a focus on those players aged 18-22, while Academy Manager Richard Hodges assists with the defence when possible.
Wilson, who this week stepped down from a summer role with Wales due to the coaching shortages at Cardiff, will now lead the attempts to replace Steadman permanently, although the club currently have no plans to replace General Manager Millard.