Warren Gatland could advise Blues over coach, says Davies

Warren Gatland sporting his new beard
Warren Gatland was heavily involved in the appointment of Mark Hammett as Cardiff Blues director of rugby.

Cardiff Blues should "take advantage" of Warren Gatland's experience in appointing a new coach, says Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies.

Mark Hammett left the role of director of rugby in February, less than six months into a three-year contract.

Blues finished the season 10th in the Pro12, and are poised to interview for a replacement this month.

Davies said Wales head coach Gatland "was hoping to lend some advice" during the appointment process".

Gatland was consulted over the appointment of fellow New Zealander Hammett following the departure of Phil Davies in 2014.

Asked on BBC Wales' Scrum V programme if the Wales coach would be involved this time, Davies replied: "Yes, I think he is actually.

"I spoke to Warren a couple of weeks ago and I think he was hoping to lend some advice really, almost a neutral voice to it all," added Davies, who played fly-half and was later chief executive of Cardiff RFC.

"With his experience over the past 15 or 20 years in coaching he's obviously a very able person, and I'd like to think that the Blues would take advantage of his experience."

Dale McIntosh and Paul John have been looking after the team since the departure of Hammett, but the Blues have endured a poor season - winning only seven out of 22 matches in the Pro12 and finishing bottom of the four Welsh regions.

Former Blues flanker Martyn Williams said the appointment was a milestone for the region.

"Although the season's finished this is probably the most crucial few weeks in the history of the Blues," said Williams, who made 100 appearances for Wales.

"I think they've got to get this decision right over the next three or four weeks whoever they appoint.

"Hopefully they'll get some stability over the close summer and they'll have a better season - they can't get any worse than this year."

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