I’m backing Blues to give Danny the send off he deserves
WHILE the focus is inevitably on the Scarlets, let’s not forget Cardiff Blues.
I firmly believe the good times are on the way back at the capital region and I hope the positive feeling surrounding the club can continue against Pau in Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
For too long now the Blues have underachieved; coaching upheavel and boardroom infighting haven’t helped, and of course there is a new man coming in to take charge again next season.
John Mulvihill will replace Danny Wilson, but I think there’s so much for him to work with at the Blues that it makes for a really exciting time.
If the Blues could beat Pau – which they are more than capable of doing – and reach a European final, it could be the perfect springboard for something really special next season.
I don’t know much about Mulvihill as a coach or a person, but I’m impressed with the early signs.
Penning Gethin Jenkins to a oneyear contract extension is a smart move in my view and so is bringing in Jason Strange to step in for Matt Sherratt as backs coach.
Both of those will provide an important Welsh link alongside Mulvihill, especially Gethin who has so much to offer both on and off the field given his huge amount of experience.
In previous weeks I’ve been critical of the lack of Welsh coaches in charge of the regions next season, which is why I was so delighted to see the appointment of Strange to the Blues staff.
Jason has worked with plenty of the current Blues squad at Wales U20 level and, given the talent the likes of Jarrod Evans and Dillon Lewis are showing right now, I’m sure the only way is up.
The Blues have a good balance to their squad which would be improved even further by a couple of signings which I’m sure are in the pipeline.
Who knows, maybe George North might yet be one of them?
All of that is for a few months down the line and the Blues’ immediate priority is facing Pau. It will be a huge boost to see the Arms Park full for such a game and in guys like Gareth Anscombe and Ellis Jenkins, Danny has players at the top of their game.
I really hope the Blues can beat Pau for Danny's sake, too.
To take his team to a Challenge Cup final – win or lose – would be a fitting way for him to end because he’s worked miracles in the job.
Hopefully in time we will look back at his tenure as the start of the Blues getting back to the top.