Wales coach Rob Howley cools link to Cardiff Blues' vacancy

Rob Howley
Rob Howley won 59 caps for Wales and represented the British and Irish Lions during his playing career

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has distanced himself from the Cardiff Blues' coaching vacancy following the departure of Mark Hammett.

Former Wales captain Martyn Williams has said Howley, 44, would be a "brilliant" successor at the Arms Park.

But Howley, an ex-Cardiff player and Blues backs coach, is not interested.

"It's World Cup year and I am contracted with the Welsh Rugby Union until June 2016 and that's my initial focus," said Howley.

Hammett left the Blues after only six months of a three-year contract.

Blues said in a statement they were disappointed he asked to leave for "personal reasons".

Former All Blacks hooker Hammett, 42, was appointed for 2014-15, replacing former Wales international Phil Davies.

Blues have won only four of 15 matches in the Pro12 since his appointment, losing lost 40-24 to Treviso on Friday to leave them 10th in the table.

Assistant coaches Paul John and Dale McIntosh have been put in temporary charge with Blues struggling to qualify for the top tier of Europe competition next season.