Fish combines Academy coaching with playing

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Cardiff Blues full-back will combine his playing duties with being a skills coach within the Cardiff Blues Academy from next season.

The 29-year-old is a recent graduate of the Welsh Rugby Union’s player-to-coach programme that worked with a number of top players in the regional game to get them ready for a career in coaching, with Fish having gained plenty of experience in that respect over recent years.

He was worked with St Albans, Glamorgan Wanderers, Cardiff Blues U16s and most recently Cardiff & Vale College, and will now make the move into the Cardiff Blues Academy setup taking over from Tom Habberfield who has taken up a role within teacher recruitment but will remain a Cardiff RFC player.

Fish will continue to train with the senior squad on a part-time basis and be available for Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC as required, looking to add to his 111 appearances for the former and 59 appearances for the latter.

Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, he said “I’m 30 years old this year, and I’ve been doing some coaching over the last few years. To get the opportunity to work with the Cardiff Blues academy was a big opportunity for me and something I couldn’t turn down.

“As I said, I’m getting older and you have to think about your career after rugby and now I can’t wait to get started in my new role. We have a really promising backroom team in the academy set-up at the moment. We have exciting young coaches such as Gethin Jenkins, Aled James and Craig Everett involved and the experience of Gruff Rees as well.

“I’ve also been really fortunate to pick up some valuable experience with Cardiff & Vale College over the last couple of seasons, and I’m extremely grateful for the support they’ve given me in my development as a coach.

“It’s been really fulfilling to see some of those boys I coached, such as Ben Thomas, kicking on and that really drive me to keep going and continue to develop. As a player, I always looked to help people around me, particularly the younger players in the last few seasons, so that naturally leads into seeing a path to go into coaching. 

“I’m really confident that this is the right decision for me, but it’s a boost that I’ll still be available to play, whether that’s for Cardiff RFC or Cardiff Blues, whenever they need me to step in. I’ll still training with the boys and I’ll be keeping on top of my fitness work as well.”

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