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".
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
James Davies was one of three Welsh players announced in Team GB's men's sevens squad for Rio yesterday at a sweltering Trafalgar Square. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie battles with a Japanese tour guide as 'Cubby' reveals who has made his teammate, Sam Cross, the player he is today.
Robin McBryde and son Billy are set to represent Wales on either side of the globe over the coming weeks with Robin travelling to New Zealand as Wales assistant coach and Billy competing at the World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7-25). WRU TV caught up with the pair and captured a unique perspective into the factors that produce such a high-achieving rugby family.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Cardiff Blues hung on to win 23-21 in Italy and extend their unbeaten run in the Guinness PRO12 to four matches.
Having lost five and drawn one of their last 10 PRO12 visits to Italy the Blues travelled hoping to end their Italian curse.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.