Gareth Llewellyn not in Cardiff Blues' sights as new coach

Gareth Llewellyn won 92 caps for Wales and played in three World Cups
Gareth Llewellyn won 92 caps for Wales and played in three World Cups

Former Wales lock Gareth Llewellyn says he is not in the running for the vacant head coach role at Cardiff Blues.

Paul John and Dale McIntosh took charge of the Blues after Mark Hammett's departure in February and both have applied for the permanent role.

Llewellyn won 92 caps for Wales and has coached at Tonmawr and Thornbury.

"I would love to try and aspire to coach at the top level. It's not going to happen with Cardiff Blues this year, that's for sure," said the former lock.

"I think they've got ambitions elsewhere, so I've got other things to do as well in the game.

"Maybe that'll happen in the future maybe it won't, I don't know."

Since taking charge of English amateur side Thornbury in 2009, Llewellyn led them to promotion from Western Counties North into South West One West - five tiers below the top-flight Aviva Premiership.

While the 46-year-old's coaching CV is still in the early stages, Llewellyn has vast experience from his playing days, captaining his country and playing in three Rugby World Cups in 1995, 1999 and 2003.

He retired from international rugby at the end of the 2005 Six Nations and in his club career played for teams including Neath, Harlequins, Ospreys, Narbonne and Bristol.

Blues finished the season 10th in the Pro12, the lowest position of all the Welsh regions, but Llewellyn believes that the club can recover under the right leadership.

"What has happened, it's been a shambles hasn't it?" Llewellyn told BBC Wales' Scrum V Radio programme.

"But it's not just been a shambles for this year, it's been coming for a long time.

"They've got a decent squad and when I watch them - you think it's very fixable.

"There's a lot of things in their game that they're doing very poorly - it's not all down to individual errors, there's systematic errors in their game.

"You can't help watching it thinking that it could easily be improved; it would take a long time to make them a very good team but they could be turned around fairly quickly to make them a competitive team.

"There's all sorts of theories about what has happened but certainly the continual changing of coaches would be a big part of it. Maybe the choice of the coaches as well.

"What they really need to do now is to settle on the right person and give him time in charge."

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