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Assistant coach Gareth Williams to leave Wales for Scarlets

By Steffan Thomas
Wales' Assistant Coach Gareth Williams during the Guinness Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday February 26, 2022. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Wales assistant coach Gareth Williams is set to leave Wayne Pivac’s backroom team to become the Scarlets’ new defence guru.


Williams has been Wales’ contact area coaching specialist for the past year but looks likely to jump ship just over a year out from the Rugby World Cup in France. He has previously been Wales under 20s head coach, while Williams has also been in charge of Wales Sevens.

And the 43-year-old is close to leaving the national set-up to become Dwayne Peel’s assistant at the Scarlets subject to final approval from Wales boss Pivac. Peel will be hoping Williams can help shore up the Scarlets’ defence after the west Walians finished in 10th spot in the United Rugby Championship table, missing out on a place in next seasons Heineken Champions Cup.

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The Scarlets are one of the most potent attacking sides in the URC, scoring 65 tries, but they also conceded 73 tries, and a total of 534 points. Current defence coach, Hugh Hogan, will leave the Scarlets at the end of the season, and the Llanelli based club are close to appointing Williams. The hope is if Williams can tighten up their defence, they will become URC play-off contenders due to the amount of tries they score.

Should the deal get rubberstamped Williams will join Peel, forwards coach Ben Franks, and scrum coach Emyr Phillips as part of a revamped back-room team in Llanelli. The Scarlets may also be on the lookout for another addition to their coaching team with Dai Flanagan expected to join the Dragons to work underneath Dean Ryan, while head analyst Joe Lewis has re-joined the England set-up.

It is unclear whether Pivac will look to replace Williams in the Wales set-up given Gethin Jenkins’ speciality as a defence and contact area coach.


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