In Brief

Wales name Wayne Pivac as Warren Gatland’s successor

Scarlets coach will take over after the 2019 Rugby World Cup

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has announced that Wayne Pivac will take over as head coach from Warren Gatland after the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.

After 12 years in the role Gatland will leave when his contract expires in December next year. The appointment of Gatland’s fellow New Zealander Pivac, the current Scarlets boss, is the end of a two-year recruitment process undertaken by WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips and chairman Gareth Davies. 

“In Wayne Pivac, we have secured the best man for the job and we have done so rigorously and decisively to the collective benefit of all involved in Welsh rugby,” said Phillips.

“I am extremely grateful to the Scarlets for their support of this process and their chairman, Nigel Short, in particular who has been first class throughout. Both Wayne and Warren and their coaching teams, our international players, supporters and everyone at the Scarlets now have clarity and there is no underestimating the positive benefit to be gained from having the time to plan properly for the future.

“We have avoided the feeding frenzy that can come at the end of a RWC year and we have been meticulous in ensuring we have someone of the talent, experience, charisma and rugby acumen to do the very best possible job for Welsh rugby. The handover process is something we will plan carefully and commence in detail next summer.”

Pivac will coach the Scarlets throughout the 2018-19 season before officially becoming a WRU employee. He said: “It’s both a huge honour and a privilege to have been asked to be the next Wales coach. I know I’m following in the footsteps of someone who is held in extremely high regard, not only by the Welsh public, but also by the players who have played under him and I will be doing my best to protect the legacy which Warren Gatland, with the help of those players, will inevitably leave behind.

“What Martyn Phillips has achieved here is fairly unique in world sport, I have a further 12 months to dedicate my time to the Scarlets and, in the background, the necessary plans and preparations can be put in place to ensure a smooth transition after the World Cup.”

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