Rush might stay with Cardiff Blues
May 24, 2010
Former All Black Xavier Rush is considering staying in Cardiff after Sunday's European Challenge Cup win © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues boss Dai Young has revealed that Xavier Rush is considering performing a sensational u-turn and reneging on a deal to join Ulster in order to stay with the Welsh region.
Rush announced in February that he would be moving to Ravenhill this summer but on Monday, just 24 hours after Cardiff's remarkable European Challenge Cup final win over Toulon, Blues boss Young announced that the former All Blacks No.8 was reconsidering his decision.
"He's in discussions with Ulster and us," Young told BBC Sport Wales. "He did make a statement early doors but obviously it's up to him - we can't do anything about it. We would love for him to stay but it's up to him to make that decision. He's got to make that decision and hopefully he will stay with us. It's out of our hands pretty much."
Meanwhile, Young believes that Cardiff's victory over Toulon in Marseille, which represented a first European success for a Welsh region, could act as the springboard for a successful assault on the Heineken Cup.
"Europe is the great flagship for every team and while we all want to win the Heineken Cup, this is the next best thing," said Young. "To come here and win a European final on a neutral ground was a big achievement for us.
"We're not the finished article, there's still room for improvement and I look forward to next year. If we can keep all our best players fit for every game next year then there is no reason we can't win the Heineken Cup."
Due to the complex qualification system, Cardiff's victory in Marseille confirmed the Scarlets will play in the Heineken Cup next season and Gloucester in the Challenge Cup. "They deserve to be in Europe - a lot of good things are happening down there so it will be great to have four Welsh regions in Europe next year," Young added.
Toulon, who qualified for the Heineken Cup through the French league, will be unseeded and therefore one of the most feared teams in the draw. Club owner Mourad Boudjellal slammed his players for throwing away the chance of victory in Marseille - but he vowed the whole club would come back stronger.
The New Zealand prop Carl Hayman and England wing Paul Sackey will join Toulon's galaxy of stars next season. They are also hoping to keep Worcester target Luke Rooney.
"At one point we had the game, then we ended up losing it. We did not respect the Blues team. I am angry," said Boudjellal. "Seeing the Welsh with the Amlin Cup was disappointing because we felt 60% of it was ours and 40% went against us.
"But being angry gives me energy. We still need the talent of the team and Philippe (Saint-Andre) for next season. We have to build on this season, this disappointment, so we can rise again. It's life. We didn't expect to get to the semi-finals of the French Championship and the Amlin Challenge Cup in this, the first year of the project."
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies