Cardiff Blues: Mark Hammett recruits coach Paul Downes

Cardiff Blues have announced the appointment of Paul Downes as head of strength and conditioning.

The 31-year-old joins from New Zealand-based Hurricanes, where he worked alongside Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett.

Former Wales flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor and Radu Badalau have also joined the staff at the Blues.

"I'm delighted to join Cardiff Blues and excited about what we can put in place here," said Downes.

"It's vital we have clear synergy between the director of dugby and the strength and conditioning teams as it is our job to deliver his vision.

"It's fantastic that I'll get to work with Hammer [Mark Hammett] again.

"He is a hugely dedicated and professional coach and I know the standards he demands from everyone on his staff."

Downes replaces former head of strength and conditioning Trystan Bevan, who has left the region.