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Cardiff Blues lining up Mark Hammett as new head coach
ESPN Staff
May 11, 2014
Mark Hammett will stand down as Hurricanes head coach at the end of the season © Getty Images

Cardiff Blues are expected to announce former All Blacks hooker Mark Hammett as their new head coach on a three-year deal this summer.

Hammett will leave his position as Hurricanes head coach at the end of the season and Cardiff chairman Peter Thomas has revealed the Blues are "very close" to bringing him to the region.

Thomas told the Rugby Paper: "Mark Hammett is top of our list and we are very hopeful that our discussions will come to a positive conclusion soon. We are very close to finalising matters.

Thomas also revealed that current acting coaches Dale McIntosh and Paul John will be part of the coaching set up next season as the Blues look to rebuild after Phil Davies' departure 10 weeks ago.

Hammett, who has 29 All Blacks caps, announced last month that he would be leaving the Hurricanes, a decision he made "before a ball was even kicked this year".

He will be tasked with turning the Blues into title-contenders after Thomas branded it an "embarrassment" that the region is not featuring in the knockout phases of any competition.

"It's an embarrassment that none of the Welsh teams are featuring in the business-end of the season," Thomas said. "None of us made the knock-out stages of any competition and that is unacceptable."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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