Getting to know: John Mulvihill

Charlie Peat
28 June 2018

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Cardiff Blues announced in March that Australian John Mulvihill will take over from Danny Wilson as the new head coach of the Welsh region.

The 51-year-old joins from second-tier Japanese club Honda Heat, where he was backs coach, on a three-year deal.

Dubbed “vastly experienced and highly-rated” by chief executive Richard Holland, Mulvihill will aiming to hit the ground running in the Guinness PRO14 and Champions Cup.

But before he gets a chance to take charge – here’s all you need to know about the Australian.

Experience

Mulvihill spent most of his playing career in Australia as an outside-half with Brisbane.

From there, Mulvihill has spent time as head coach at Irish side Navan RFC between 1998 and 2003 before moving back to Australia to take up a coaching role at Gold Coast Breakers, Queensland Reds and then Western Force as assistant coach in 2005.

The Australian was keen to expand his repertoire and moved to Japan where he endured coaching stints at Mitsubishi Dynaboars and Kintetsu Liners before his final spell coming at Honda Heat.

But after spending the majority of his coaching career in the backroom staff –  now is a chance for Mulvihill to become the head coach and stamp his authority on a role.

Eye for talent

With a reputation for developing talented youngsters, Mulvihill will be looking forward to getting to grips with a Blues side that came fourth in Conference A last season.

Mulvihill was largely credited with unearthing Australian star James O’Connor during his time at Western Australia.

Having already expressed his desire to get the best out of Sam Warburton, Mulvihill will also be looking to nurture the younger players in the squad.

He told WalesOnline: “I am not here coaching for myself, but to make sure players have the best available coaching and the best possible preparation.

“When players play their first Test match and say ‘thanks for your help’, that means a lot.

“Just to see guys go out and perform at their best is fantastic. It’s really nice to see young men achieve.”

Make an impact

The Queenslander has already made a statement of intent upon arrival at Cardiff Arms Park and will be looking to make marquee signings to bolster the Challenge Cup winning squad.

He said: “There’s some big names coming and they are going to have a big impact on what we do going forward.

“There won’t be too many changes. In years gone by, they have signed a lot of players on longer term deals.

“So we had a few coming off contract and we have re-signed a lot of those.

“I think I have inherited quite a strong, settled squad. Probably the players from one to five need some back up and some reinforcements there. From six to 15, we’ve got some class international players.”

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