Cardiff Blues chief Richard Holland says top coaches in line to replace Danny Wilson

Danny Wilson and Richard Holland
Danny Wilson was appointed Cardiff Blues head coach by chief executive Richard Holland in 2015

Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland says the region have had 25 applicants for the head coach role that Danny Wilson will vacate at the end of the season.

Holland addressed about 200 supporters at a meeting at the Arms Park.

The chief executive also revealed there will be another meeting on Monday, 16 October with Cardiff Athletic Club over the possible Arms Park redevelopment.

Holland also said the region would not hand control to the Welsh Rugby Union.

Former Wales captain Gwyn Jones was critical of chairman Peter Thomas on BBC Wales' Scrum V programme, following Wilson's decision to leave at the end of the campaign after three seasons at the helm.

Replacing Wilson

Holland said some of the contenders to replace Wilson were former international coaches, with a shortlist to be drawn up soon.

The successful candidate may join early as a consultant alongside Wilson but would likely officially begin at the start of next season.

Holland said the region have an excellent working relationship with Wilson and that will continue until the end of the season.

The chief executive insisted the days of recruiting high-cost foreign players were over and the emphasis now is on developing from within.

Holland said there will be investment in the coaching side, although a budget was still available to bring players in if required.

This follows the signing of South African lock Franco van der Merwe from Ulster in the summer before the board decided to release him without playing a game.

Holland says they are trying to keep Wales lock Seb Davies who has been linked with a move to the Scarlets, while Wales flanker Josh Turnbull, full-back Rhun Williams, Josh Turnbull and prop Corey Domachowski have agreed to contract extensions.

Cardiff Blues chairman Peter Thomas and chief executive Richard Holland
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland (left) and chairman Peter Thomas

No Union involvement

Holland insisted the Blues would not hand the club back to the WRU, after a proposed temporary takeover of the region by the governing body fell through in the summer.

He indicated the WRU would like to take control of the region but the board and shareholders did not want that to happen.

The chief executive said development options were ongoing with the rugby section of the Cardiff Athletic Club (CAC) after an ambitious deal fell through in the summer.

Next Monday's scheduled meeting will see a new Blues proposal for redevelopment at the Arms Park put to the CAC management committee, although any deal would still need to go to an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

The Blues want to stay at the ground while any building work was ongoing rather than leaving for another city centre site.

Holland said chairman Peter Thomas, who was not at the meeting, does not want to benefit personally from the redevelopment and will turn all debts into equity because he wants the club to progress and be successful.

The Blues also indicated new sources of revenue could come from ground naming rights, television deals and sponsorship.

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