Cardiff Blues' new head coach John Mulvihill has received the seal of approval from a host of Test stars and former Cardiff and Wales head coach Alex Evans.
Mulvihill, who was announced as Danny Wilson’s successor earlier today, has a reputation of identifying and developing talent for the top end of the game.
He has been credited for discovering Australia duo James O’Connor and David Pocock and has also played an influential role in the careers of several other Wallabies including Matt Giteau, Quade Cooper and Drew Mitchell.
Both Pocock and Giteau spent several years with Western Force, where Mulvihill enjoyed stints as assistant and head coach.
Giteau said: “Throughout my time at the Western Force I was coached by John Mulvihill for three years. During that time, I found his coaching second to none.
“For me as a ball player, he offered constant feedback, clear game plans and added a real creative edge to my game. That was something that kept me constantly interested in training and playing.
“That was the key for me to continue to play the best I can and John is someone that I still keep in contact with to ask questions about my game and how the team looks etc.
“Away from the field John is just as valuable. He is someone that all the players respected and had no problems confiding in and this is something I really respected him for.
“A constant team man but also a great family man which speaks huge volumes about him as a coach and a man. I would have no hesitation in recommending John for any head coaching or international coaching role.”
Pocock added: “John played a huge role in my development as a player. His ability to interact with the playing group and make the younger players feel welcome was one of his strengths.
“He put a lot of time into my development with skill extras after training and was always pushing players to continue to develop themselves outside of team sessions.
“He has very strong communication and player management skills. He is an outstanding coach on and off the field, a coach of international standard and a huge influence in my career.”
Mulvihill is following in the footsteps of fellow Australian Alex Evans to the Arms Park.
Evans coached Cardiff and Wales during the 1990s and has mentored Mulvihill throughout his career.
The former Arms Park favourite assisted the Blues in the latter stages of the process and speaks highly of Mulvihill and is convinced he will prove a successful addition.
Evans said: “I'm delighted that Cardiff Blues have appointed John Mulvihill as head coach. I enjoyed every minute of my time in Cardiff and I know John will relish and enjoy the opportunity to coach in Wales.
“Having worked with him personally, he is, in my opinion, one of the best coaches in Australia. I know the players and supporters will enjoy the way he coaches Cardiff Blues.
“He's not only a great coach but also a very good man. He will bring integrity, work ethic and passion and I wish him and Cardiff all the very best.”
Cardiff Blues are next in action on Saturday, March 24 (3.15pm) when they take on Ulster Rugby in the Guinness PRO14. There is still plenty to play for as the race for the play-offs hots up and we need your support.
Click here or call 029 20 302030 to buy your tickets today!