Wilson joins Blues

Danny Wilson has signed a three-year deal with Cardiff Blues, replacing Mark Hammett as head coach
Danny Wilson has signed a three-year deal with Cardiff Blues, replacing Mark Hammett as head coach

Cardiff Blues have secured Danny Wilson on a three-year contract as new head coach to replace Mark Hammett.

Wilson joins Cardiff after Bristol agreed to release their forwards coach from the two remaining years of his existing contract.

Cardiff confirmed the former Scarlets coach's appointment came as a direct result of "amicable discussions" with Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson.

The former Wales Under-20s head coach will now head up a new-look coaching team at the Blues, following ex-boss Hammett's February departure.

"I am both proud and excited to be named Head Coach at Cardiff Blues," said Wilson.

"I'd like to firstly thank Andy Robinson and Bristol Rugby for their understanding and support with allowing me to take up this opportunity.

"I wish them every success in the forthcoming season and the future.

"I'm now looking forward to getting started at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, a place steeped in history and tradition, and building an environment, culture and squad that will take us forward in the long-term.

"Cardiff Blues has always enjoyed fantastic support from its dedicated fans and I would encourage them to now get right behind us and be part of the journey over the coming years."

Wilson led Wales Under-20s to third place at the Junior World Championships in 2012, before guiding the age-group side to the final of the same competition a year later.

Blues chief executive Richard Holland hailed Wilson's "outstanding track record in coaching" in championing the Welsh region's new appointment.

"Danny has an outstanding track record in coaching, a fantastic reputation across the game and has all the qualities and ambition needed to drive our region forward in the long-term," said Holland.

"He understands the culture of Welsh rugby and has significant experience, in both the international and regional game. We're excited to see the legacy Danny builds here at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

"Danny will have complete authority on the rugby side of the business and will be given the time to rebuild and get Cardiff Blues back to where we feel is our rightful place in European rugby.

"He will now surround himself with his coaching team to take us forward over the next three years and he will therefore confirm our backroom staff in the coming weeks.

"Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bristol Rugby and chief executive Steve Gorvett for their collaboration and understanding throughout this process.

"Our thanks also go to Wales head coach Warren Gatland for his involvement and all the candidates we interviewed."