Wayne Pivac to succeed Gatland as Wales head coach

Wayne Pivac will take over after the 2019 World Cup

Wayne Pivac will succeed Warren Gatland as Wales head coach after next year's Rugby World Cup, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) announced on Monday.

The reflex reaction whenever a significant coaching vacancy crops up is often to look to New Zealand for candidates.

He coached Fiji and also won the domestic Pro12 trophy with the Scarlets in 2017 while guiding the team into the semifinals of the European Champions Cup in the same season.

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. He was appointed Scarlets assistant coach in 2014 before taking over from Simon Easterby as head coach when the former Ireland global left to take up a role with the IRFU.

"I see myself as a Welsh coach", Pivac said. By that time, he will have been in charge for 12 years.

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"I'll do everything in my power to reward the two men alongside me here today (Gareth Davies and Martyn Phillips) who have put their faith in me, but also to live up to the expectations of the hugely passionate and knowledgeable rugby loving Welsh public".

"I felt more comfortable putting my name forward and I feel as if I am a Welsh coach".

Martyn Phillips, chief executive of the WRU, said that there should be no complaints after a rigorous selection process which took two years to complete.

"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".

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