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".
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
Wales Trial, Principality Premiership Awards evening and Wales U20s in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Jamie Roberts and Matthew Rees about the Wales Trial, captain Dafydd Lockyer talks about Pontypridd dominating the Principality Premiership awards, while ahead of the start of the Junior World Championships we talk to Tom Williams, Steffan Hughes, Jack Dixon and Nicky Smith.
Coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde today confirmed their Probables and Possibles teams to take part in Friday's Wales Senior Trial at the Liberty Stadium and both are predicting some mouth-watering head-to-heads.
Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
Simon Easterby is leaving the Scarlets to take up the role of forwards coach with Ireland. The west Wales region confirmed today that their former captain and coach will be allowed to leave his current position at the club to step back onto the international stage.
Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric is 'progressing nicely' following his post-season shoulder surgery and is among a host of Ospreys players gearing up for a return in the new season.
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the dawn of a 'new era' for rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales alongside the announcement of the new GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures.
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