Cardiff Blues captain Paul Tito lauds Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell

Paul Tito
Former New Zealand Maori player Paul Tito joined Cardiff Blues in 2007

Cardiff Blues captain Paul Tito says he wants interim coaches Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell to continue in their roles at the region.

Baber and Burnell were put in temporary charge after Dai Young left the region to join London Wasps in June.

The Blues are considering appointing an experienced figure and Baber has admitted he is unsure over his future.

"Hopefully they can continue throughout the year and it's going to come down to us performing on the pitch," said Tito.

Blues chairman Peter Thomas has said Baber and Burnell's positions will be reviewed in November.

Wales assistant coaches Shaun Edwards, who left his role as Wasps head coach on Tuesday, and Rob Howley have been mentioned as possible full-time successors to Young.

And Thomas has denied approaching New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, who has subsequently stepped down after eight years in charge of the All Blacks.

New Zealander Tito said the Blues players were in the dark over the future of Baber and Burnell but paid tribute to their efforts so far this season.

"I think it's a little bit of unknown at the moment obviously with the coaches," added the 33-year-old lock.

"In their defence they've done a sterling job I feel. They're two men who have got [their] heads down and doing a good job.

"You look around the place, everyone's happy and everyone's having a bit of a say.

"These big games coming up, Dragons this weekend and the Heineken Cup games, are crucial for those guys [Baber and Burnell] and the boys as well."

After facing the Dragons at Rodney Parade in the Pro12 on Friday night, the Blues begin their European campaign a week later away to French side Racing Metro.

Despite finishing second in their pool, the Blues failed to qualify for the quarter-finals last season, but Tito is confident they can reach the last eight this time.

"We feel we've got the team to go out there and qualify in the top eight," said Tito.

"We've got a tough pool to get out of first and Racing away is never easy. But we look forward to a big challenge up front.

"A lot of the boys coming back from the World Cup played very well on the world stage and hopefully they can bring that form into the Blues and kick-start our season."

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