Cardiff Blues have named Australian John Mulvihill as successor to head coach Danny Wilson.
Mulvihill is leaving his role as an assistant coach with second-tier Japanese club Honda Heat in Japan to sign a three-year deal with Blues.
In a statement, Blues described the 51-year-old as “vastly experienced and highly-rated”.
The Welsh Rugby Union was also involved in the search for Wasps-bound Wilson’s successor.
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland said: “I believe John will be the perfect fit for Cardiff Blues.
“He has an abundance of experience and a track record of bringing through young talent, which is very appealing given the age profile of our squad.
“He has played an instrumental role in the careers of numerous top-class internationals including [Australians] David Pocock, Matt Giteau, James O’Connor and Drew Mitchell, who all speak very highly of him.
“Former Cardiff RFC coach Alex Evans has also mentored John and has been a great aid in the latter stages of the process.
“Not only that but he is a good man and we are very much looking forward to an exciting future with John at the helm.”
Mulvihill said: “A new beginning brings fresh ideas and a new approach that will assist the playing group to reach their full potential both as individuals and as a collective group.
“It is an exciting time for the club with other new coaches and players to be announced in due course.”
Endorsed by Australians
Having been coached by him, ex-Wallaby Matt Giteau joined fellow Australian internationals David Pocock and Quade Cooper in endorsing Mulvihill’s credentials.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending John for any head coaching or international coaching role,” said centre Giteau.
Flanker and Australia captain Pocock said: “He is an outstanding coach on and off the field, a coach of international standard and a huge influence in my career.”
Evans, a former Wales coach, said: “Having worked with him personally, he is, in my opinion, one of the best coaches in Australia. I know the players and supporters will enjoy the way he coaches Cardiff Blues.”