Cardiff Blues showed plenty of promise in the latter stages of the season
Paul John and Dale McIntosh are hoping to continue the Cardiff Blues' revival when they team up with new director of rugby Mark Hammett.
The 41-year-old Hurricanes coach takes over at the Arms Park this summer when he swaps New Zealand for Wales, just as Graham Henry and Steve Hansen did previously.
John and McIntosh have been in interim charge of the team since Phil Davies resigned in March and they are being kept on as assistant coaches after steering the Blues to four wins in their last six matches of the campaign, including their Judgement Day victory over the Scarlets, a shock success against Ulster and away wins at Connacht and Edinburgh.
The string of positive results lifted the Arms Park region from 10th in the RaboDirect PRO12 standings to a final position of seventh, overtaking rivals Newport Gwent Dragons in the process.
John expects to meet the 29-times capped former hooker in June, when Hammett makes an initial visit to the Welsh capital, and he is keen to kick on from a promising end to the season.
"Me and 'Chief' (McIntosh) are looking forward to working with Mark and keeping on with the progress we've made," said John.
"He's a very, very experienced coach at the highest level and a former All Black, so it's a going to be a positive him coming here.
"We're meeting him, I think, in June, when he'll be popping over to have a look at the environment and houses and everything. So we'll meet him then and it will be good to have a chat with him and get pre-season organised."
John, who also coaches SWALEC Cup and Principality Premiership Champions Pontypridd, is confident Hammett will quickly get a feel for the region and Welsh rugby and "get his principles in place".
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.