Cardiff Blues have confirmed that John Mulvihill has left his role as head coach with immediate effect for personal reasons.
The 55-year-old took over the job in the summer of 2018 following Danny Wilson’s departure, having previously coached in Ireland, Japan and his native Australia, and has led the club through a turbulent time of financial problems both in-house and due to Project Reset and the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite that he has been able to see the squad through a period of great change, with five key players retiring during his tenure, and many more brought through the Academy to set us up for the future, with the likes of Shane Lewis-Hughes and James Botham already pushing on for international honours.
While discussing a contract extension it was decided that due to increasingly difficult personal circumstances brought on by the virus, which had prevented Mulvihill seeing his daughters for two years, the time was right for both parties to go their separate ways.
Speaking to the official Cardiff Blues website he said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and must thank everyone at club and the fantastic supporters for the welcome I received and the passion and dedication they have shown throughout.
“It has been an incredibly difficult period due to the financial challenges in regional rugby and that has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the various implications, however I am enormously proud of our success in development.
“We have seen a host of young players graduate from our academy, make their senior debuts and establish themselves as vital members of the squad and our international representation has grown from four to six when I arrived, to 14 now. That is something I am very proud of.
“I always believed we could bring success to Cardiff Blues on the pitch and it is with sadness that I leave but with the nature of this season and the situation in the world currently, I have to put my family first and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. Cardiff Blues will remain a fond part of my life and I wish the club, players, coaches and staff every success for the future.”
Cardiff Blues CEO Richard Holland added, “I would like to thank John for all of his efforts during his time at the club. It has been a very challenging period but he has overseen the development of numerous talented youngsters who have become first team regulars and a substantial increase in our international representation.
“With the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, it has become an increasingly difficult time in both professional rugby and John’s personal circumstances. He has not seen three of his daughters for two years now and this has played a significant part in the decision. Therefore it makes sense for both parties to move on immediately and we now wish John, Tracey and the girls all the very best for the future.”