Cardiff Blues have confirmed that Richie Rees has taken over from Jason Strange in looking after the backs and attack coaching.
Former Wales U20 coach Strange only arrived at the Arms Park last summer as part of John Mulvihill’s first coaching ticket after being appointed head coach, having previously coached at Ebbw Vale after finishing playing.
In his season as attack coach he oversaw a Cardiff Blues team that scored 497 Guinness Pro14 points, the sixth-most in the league, with 60 tries coming at just under three tries per game, as well as seven try bonus points.
Our scintillating first phase attack was widely praised as a serious weapon, however a lack of ability to score beyond strike plays was a downfall on many occasions, leading to criticism in some quarters.
Strange’s role will now be taken by Richie Rees who is promoted from his position within the Cardiff Blues academy as a transition coach, working with those players identified as in with a chance of making it to the first team.
The Swansea-born scrum-half played 100 times for Cardiff Blues between 2007 and 2012 winning the EDF Energy Cup in 2009 and the Amlin Challenge Cup in 2010. He also played for Ospreys, London Irish, Edinburgh and Dragons, as well as winning nine test caps for Wales.
It was at Dragons where he would start his coaching career, before switching to the Cardiff Blues academy in 2017. He has also spent time with Cardiff Blues A, as well as Wales U19 and Wales Sevens.
He is now takes over as attack coach ahead of a season where Welsh internationals Josh Adams and Hallam Amos arrive at the Arms Park, but we are without Gareth Anscombe, who has left for the Ospreys.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, Rees said, “I’m really excited for this opportunity and genuinely believe that there is plenty to look forward to. With the standard of this squad and the potential for growth within it, I believe this is a massive opportunity for all those Involved.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working with some of the young talents coming through and having also worked with the senior squad over the last couple of seasons I feel it is the right time for me to step up and challenge myself at the next level and I’m confident I can make a positive contribution in helping Cardiff Blues’ attack succeed.
“There is so much exciting talent here and the challenge is not just to harness and unleash that on a consistent basis, but to help develop individual players and group understanding so we all fulfill our potential”