Warren Gatland reappointed Wales coach
Wayne Pivac has left his role as Wales head coach and been replaced by Warren Gatland.
The Welsh Rugby Union confirmed Pivac’s departure following their review of Wales’ Autumn Nations Series campaign.
Wales won just 13 of 34 Tests under Pivac’s direction after succeeding his fellow New Zealander Gatland following the 2019 World Cup.
And Gatland now makes an extraordinary return to the post he held between 2008 and 2019, during which time Wales won four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, reached two World Cup semi-finals and briefly headed the world rankings.
His deal is understood to include a break clause if Wales are knocked out of the World Cup at the group stages, where they will face Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Portugal.
The WRU have swooped for Gatland after he was reportedly high on the English Rugby Union’s list of potential short-term replacements for Eddie Jones going into next year’s World Cup.
As part of his new role, Warren Gatland will be expected to conduct a root-and-branch review of professional Welsh rugby.
The change comes after Wayne Pivac won just three out of 12 Tests this year, including losses at home to Italy and Georgia.
A 21-point lead squandered against Australia on the last day of the November tests seemed to be the final straw for the WRU.
Gatland will leave New Zealand-based side the Chiefs, where he was director of rugby, with immediate effect and return to Wales before Christmas.
“This is an opportunity to achieve something with a talented group of players in a country so passionate about rugby,” Gatland said, in a statement released by the WRU.
“Our immediate priority is obviously the 2023 Guinness Six Nations and next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“There is little time for sentiment. Professional sport is all about preparation, values and results.
“There will be new challenges, as there always is with a change in head coach, but for me the environment, the players and their families will always come first.
“We must prepare to the best of our ability in the time available. We will value and respect each other, we will work hard and, if we get this right together, performances and results will follow.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.