Former Cardiff Blues players Duane Goodfield, Richie Rees and Nicky Robinson will return to the region to assist with coaching in the new academy setup.
Following on from confirming the new ‘transition’ group of 18-22-year-old players earlier in the week, head coach Danny Wilson and Director of Development Clive Jones have moved swiftly to ensure they have coaching expertise in place to assist in the youngsters development.
After stepping down as Cardiff RFC head coach over the summer, former hooker Goodfield, who made 26 appearances across three seasons for the Blues, will assist with a forwards group that includes Welsh caps Seb Davies and Dillon Lewis.
Richie Rees, who was the scrum-half as Cardiff won the Anglo-Welsh and Amlin Challenge Cups in 2009 and 2010 respectively, will coach the backs in the transition group having left the Dragons in their backroom staff shake-up.
He told the Cardiff Blues official website, ‘I’m looking forward to working within, and adding to, the transition team and particularly working with and learning from Danny Wilson and Matt Sherratt on the field.
“There is so much young talent at the Blues, and you only have to look at their representation at the recent World Rugby U20s Championship to see that.
“With a growing emphasis of developing talent within, it is important that we give our young players as much of a service as possible and I’m really looking forward to playing a part in that.”
Meanwhile Rees’ half-back partner in that period, Nicky Robinson, will look after the kicking, focusing particularly on young fly-halves Ben Jones and Ben Thomas.
Affectionately known as ‘King Nicky’ by the Arms Park faithful, as a nod to his father-in-law Kenny Dalglish, Robinson only finished playing last season having come out of retirement as injury cover to make seven appearances, giving him an overall total of 132 games in blue.
He too spoke to the official site saying, “I really enjoyed my involvement on the coaching side last year and this is a great opportunity for me to work with the young kickers at my home region.”
“There is some really exciting talent coming through and hopefully I can pass on some of my knowledge to them and help in any way I can.”
Head coach Danny Wilson rounded it up by adding, “I’m delighted to welcome Nicky and Richie to Cardiff Blues. They bring a wealth of experience and have a strong association with the region, where they enjoyed success as players.
“Their appointments are part of our ongoing commitment to invest both time and resource to getting the most out of the young talent within the region.”
“When Nicky arrived last year and started to do a bit of work with the younger boys I could see he would be a good coach and it is great that he will remain part of our set-up.
“We also felt we needed someone to provide more of a service to our young scrum-halves. Richie fits that bill perfectly, as well as working with the backs generally with Matt Sherratt.”
All three men will also assist Wilson and backs/attack coach Matt Sherratt in coaching the full first team squad, while the hunt for Graham Steadman’s replacement as defence coach is actively continuing.