Cardiff Blues are delighted to confirm the major appointment of Mark Hammett as the new Director of Rugby at the region on a three-year deal.
The former All Blacks international will link up with the Blues following the completion of his season in the Super 15 with the Hurricanes.
Hammett, 41, will front an exciting new-look coaching team at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park with Dale McIntosh and Paul John.
The Christchurch-born ex-hooker has carved out a reputation as one of the most exciting and leading coaches in the Super 15 following spells at the Crusaders and Hurricanes.
Hammett, who won 29 caps for New Zealand between 1999 and 2003, made his name during his playing career with the Crusaders, where he won four titles.
He retired in 2003 and joined the coaching staff at Crusaders while also working with Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup.
Hammett took over as Head Coach at the Wellington-based Hurricanes in 2011 and is currently leading the team as they push for the end of season play-offs.
Richard Holland, Chief Executive at Cardiff Blues, said: "We conducted an extensive worldwide search, with the help of Wales coach Warren Gatland and Gareth Edwards, and are absolutely delighted that Mark Hammett will be taking the role of Director of Rugby.
"Chief (Dale McIntosh) and Johnsy (Paul John) have done a terrific job over the last few months and I know they are looking forward to working with Mark. They will form a strong partnership and we are excited to see that take the region forward.
"I have met Mark and he was the outstanding coach and person for the role. We believe his long-term vision for the Blues will take us to the next level and achieve our ambitions.
"We've made strong signings with New Zealand international Jarrad Hoeata, Italian back row Manoa Vosawai, Craig Mitchell, Josh Turnbull, Tavis Knoyle, George Watkins and Ieuan Jones joining us. We're working hard on more signings and are positive about the way they will work with our talented existing squad under the guidance of Mark Hammett.
"It has always been our commitment as a region to be sustainable off the field and a competitive and successful on it.
"We've made the business sustainable since the return to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park and now, under the leadership of Mark Hammett, we believe the Blues can start to once again look forward to a bright future."
Warren Gatland has confirmed he will be joining the fast approaching 50,000-strong crowd at Judgement Day III on Saturday to run the rule over potential Wales Rugby World Cup squad members in the competitive surrounds of the Millennium Stadium.
Cardiff Blues are hosting a special Open Evening this Wednesday night at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park to give prospective students and parents the chance to discover more about our new and exciting rugby education programme.
Our Cardiff Blues Rugby Camps return this Easter to give children right across our region the opportunity to participate in rugby during the holidays - and after selling out our last two camps you can book NOW to avoid any disappointment!
The players at Cardiff Blues will be hoping to play with some true Gallic flair for the rest of the Guinness PRO12 season - after the region teamed up with a successful French bistrot in the Welsh capital.
Cardiff Blues will be celebrating St David's Day when the region faces Edinburgh Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 12.45pm) - with hundreds of children invited as part of our Regional Schools Day.
Fine footwear retailer The Brogue Trader - one of the official sponsors of Cardiff Blues - is celebrating after being recognised by the British Footwear Association at its annual Footwear Industry Awards.
Battling Cardiff Blues produced a second half performance packed full of character and spirit to push Ulster Rugby all the way in an absorbing Guinness PRO12 encounter at a packed out Kingspan Stadium.
Argentine ace Joaquin Tuculet scored a sensational try in the eighth minute of injury time as Cardiff Blues produced an astonishing finale to snatch victory over Connacht Rugby after an unbelievable Guinness PRO12 encounter.