Monday, 16 July, 2018

Pivac to succeed Gatland as Wales rugby coach

Wayne Pivac Wayne Pivac is a former Fiji coach
Cary Erickson | 12 July, 2018, 16:43

New Wales coach Wayne Pivac has vowed to continue Warren Gatland's "legacy" as he prepares to replace his New Zealand compatriot after the next Rugby World Cup.

Gatland has coached Wales to two Six Nations titles and two Grand Slams.

Pivac, who also coached Scarlets to a thumping victory over Irish powerhouses Munster to land the 2017 Celtic League title, saw off two fellow New Zealanders - two-time Super Rugby winning coach Dave Rennie, who is presently in charge of Glasgow Warriors, and Scott Robetson.

Pivac will take over at Wales in July after coaching Welsh club Scarlets for a final season.

After more than 12 years at the helm, Gatland will bow out as the longest-serving and most successful head coach in the history of the game in Wales.

"The biggest thing about putting myself through this process was that I have been living in Wales for four years".

New Zealander Pivac has been the Scarlets' boss since 2014, masterminding a Guinness Pro12 title previous year and securing passage into the semi-finals of the Champions Cup.

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"I had a taste of worldwide rugby and I loved that, albeit it Fiji were more of a tier-two nation back then", Pivac said.

"I think the Union's in good hands and I want to be part of it. Having that ability to observe and plan early is going to be the benefit of all involved".

The futures of Gatland's backroom staff - Rob Howley, Shaun Edwards, Robin McBryde and Neil Jenkins - remain unclear after that point, with Pivac's Scarlets assistant Stephen Jones heavily tipped to join him with Wales.

"There's no rush on that and we'll do what's best for the country".

"He (Jones) is someone who will be discussed with the coaching group as we go forward".

"We have undertaken a hugely thorough process to make this appointment, it has been more than two years in the making and we were both impressed by Wayne throughout and by the variety of his accomplishments during a lengthy career in coaching".