Blues delight as Dale McIntosh named defence guru
CARDIFF Blues’ director of rugby Phil Davies has spoken of his delight after former Wales back row forward Dale McIntosh was appointed their new defence coach.
The ex-Pontypridd head coach joins the Cardiff Arms Park side after Rob Powell was fired in the wake of last weekend's 44-29 hammering away to Exeter in the region’s opening Heineken Cup match.
The Blues leaked six tries, including five in a woeful first-half performance which saw them trail 36-3 at the interval.
New Zealand-born McIntosh, who will also leave his position as a Welsh Rugby Union performance skills coach, has been proven himself at semi-professional level as the driving force behind a Ponty side who have dominated the domestic game in recent years.
The highly-rated 43-year-old coached the Sardis Road side to a first cup and league double this year, after securing a Principality Premiership title in 2012 and a Swalec Cup victory two years ago.
Nicknamed and popularly known as the ‘Chief’, the winner of two caps, during defeats to South Africa and England in 1996 and 1997, McIntosh was a cult hero in his playing days, making more than 450 appearances for Pontypridd.
He had a held a part-time coaching advisory role with the Blues this season, but has now been appointed on a full-time basis, a move which Davies is happy with.
"Dale and I go back a long way from our playing days and I have huge respect for him as a man and rugby person," said former Llanelli and Wales forward Davies.
"He has been a simply phenomenal servant for Pontypridd. They are a great club and, along with Cardiff RFC, are a great credit to our region.
"Dale has done a fantastic job for Pontpridd, as a player and coach, and has also been successful as part of the Wales Under-18 set-up. His pedigree as a rugby man, player and coach is outstanding.
"When I first arrived at Blues last year I wanted him involved. At that stage it wasn't possible, but over the course of the last 18 months we have kept in touch through his role in the region and he has been involved with us from the summer.
On Powell’s departure, Davies added: "I would also like to thank Rob for his contribution to Blues. He joined us to work alongside Xavier Rush last season and has continued to work hard for us this season. We wish him every success for the future."
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