Heineken Cup: Blues confirm Dale McIntosh defence role

Cardiff Blues have named Dale McIntosh as defence coach, succeeding Rob Powell

New Zealand-born McIntosh, capped twice by Wales, will quit as Pontypridd head coach and leave his WRU performance skills coach role.

The 43-year-old moves to Arms Park following Powell's departure, which came after they conceded six tries in a Heineken Cup defeat by Exeter.

"His pedigree as a rugby man, player and coach is outstanding," said Blues boss Phil Davies.

"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.

"We are very grateful to the WRU and Pontypridd for releasing him to become defence coach with us on a full-time basis.

"I would also like to thank Rob Powell 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."

Pontypridd issued a statement  which read: "It was inevitable that sooner or later our successful head coach would be appointed to a senior post at regional level.

"Dale McIntosh has been associated with Pontypridd RFC for 24 years.

"In that period his influence and his contribution to the success of the club cannot be overestimated."

Defending champions Toulon visit Cardiff in the second round of matches on Saturday.

McIntosh made more than 450 Pontypridd appearances and has coached at Sardis Road since 2007, graduating to head coach in the 2009-10 season.