Baber and Burnell take charge of Blues
July 6, 2011
Current assistant coach Gareth Baber will take charge of the Blues alongside forwards coach Justin Burnell for the early stages of the season © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues have placed backs coach Gareth Baber and forwards coach Justin Burnell in joint charge in temporary charge of the side in the wake of the recent departure of director of rugby Dai Young.
The backroom duo have been promoted following Young's decision to cut his ties with the Pro12 side and move to Aviva Premiership side London Wasps although their appointment will be reassessed after this year's Rugby World Cup.
One of their first decisions has been to re-appoint Paul Tito as the captain for a fourth successive season while Blues chief executive Robert Norster insists the decision to hand the reins to Baber and Burnell has the backing of the players.
"It has been decided that Justin and Gareth are to be given the opportunity to manage team affairs with the position being reviewed following the World Cup," he said. "It is a great opportunity for two young aspiring Welsh coaches to put their plans forward and gain greater experience.
"It's a move that's supported by the playing squad who have already been pro-actively engaged in the scheduling of the season's preparations. The very nature of the professional game for any individual or team is the management of change and recent events have created for us opportunities as well as challenges that we must all rise to meet."
The Blues reiterated their claim to compensation from Wasps for Young's departure and their willingness to pursue the matter in court. "While understanding such role changes will rarely be seamless, we very much hope that Dai and his new employers will eventually recognise the need to respect and address the existing contractual position with Cardiff Blues," said Norster. "It is of course disappointing for all parties that events now appear to be taking a legal course which will prevent further comment at this time."
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