Cardiff Blues appoint Paul John as new backs coach

Cardiff Blues confirm former Wales and Pontypridd scrum-half Paul John as their new backs coach.

The former Pontypridd head coach will leave his role as Wales Sevens coach to succeed Gareth Baber at the Arms Park.

Baber left the Blues in December to take up a role as Hong Kong Sevens head coach.

"Coaching the Blues will certainly be a challenge but on reflection it was a decision I felt I could live to regret if I didn't make the move," John said.

"The last six years working at the Welsh Rugby Union have been the most challenging and rewarding of my rugby career.

"I certainly wasn't looking to leave the WRU and it has been a very difficult decision to make."

Wales Sevens assistant coach Gareth Williams has been appointed interim head coach and will be at the helm for the next two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Wales Rugby League coach and former Blues player Iestyn Harris turned down the chance to succeed Baber in November.

Former Pontypridd captain John won 10 caps for Wales before joining the Sardis Road club's coaching team.

During his spell as Pontypridd head coach the club won the Swalec Cup twice before he became full-time coach with Wales Sevens in 2009.

John guided Wales to success in the Rugby Sevens World Cup in 2009 but continued as Pontypridd backs coach.

His former Pontypridd team-mate Dale McIntosh left his role as Ponty head coach in October 2013 to become was Cardiff Blues defence coach.