Cardiff Blues skills coach to leave region

Date published: February 1 2017

Cardiff Blues announced that skills coach Paul John will leave the region to become head coach of Hong Kong Sevens.

John will replace Gareth Baber at the Hong Kong Sports Institute following more than four years’ service to the region.

The former Wales captain retired from rugby in 2005 and moved into coaching with his club side Pontypridd.

John then enjoyed a six-year stint with Wales Sevens before linking up with Cardiff Blues.

During his four years with Wales Capital region, John has served as an assistant coach and interim head coach on two occasions.

Speaking of the decision John told the Pro12 website: “I’m very grateful for the time I have had with Cardiff Blues and have a lot of fond memories.

“During last summer Terry Sands gave me the opportunity to coach sevens with Samurai and I quickly realised how much I enjoyed coaching the game.

“Gareth Baber moving to coach Fiji meant that a position became available in Hong Kong.

“It is the perfect opportunity to get back in to coaching sevens and it’s a sport I’m very passionate about and has huge potential.

“I am really looking forward to working alongside some old friends.  On a personal level – it is an exciting opportunity for the family to experience life in another country.”

During his playing career, John played for South Glamorgan Institute and Cardiff RFC before joining Pontypridd. He also won 10 caps for Wales.

Billy Millard, rugby general manager, said: “Paul has been a brilliant servant to both Cardiff Blues and the wider region over an extended period of time.

“He leaves with our full blessing and thanks for all the work he has done here. Sevens is a big passion for Paul and he has real expertise in the game.

“I am sure he will prove a great addition to Hong Kong and we wish both Paul and his family every success in their next chapter.”

Head coach Danny Wilson added: “I would like to thank Paul for all of the support and commitment he has offered since I joined Cardiff Blues and wish him the very best for the future.”

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