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'It's fine margins at this level': Pivac opens up after being dismissed by Wales

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The international rugby coaching merry-go-round is in full swing, with three proud nations having announced significant changes as they look to get their World Cup dreams back on track.


Following a disastrous campaign, which included a first-ever loss to minnows Georgia in Cardiff, the Welsh Rugby Union were the first team to axe their head coach Wayne Pivac.

New Zealand-born Pivac had been released from his duties, while former Wales boss Warren Gatland was named to return nine month’s out from the World Cup.

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Since, the RFU have fired super coach Eddie Jones, and the Wallabies have parted ways with Dave Rennie – who has been replaced by Jones.

Wales had a become a shadow of their former selves throughout a tough campaign; falling to ninth in the world rankings, just a year after they won the Six Nations.

After winning a test against the Springboks on South African soil in July, Wales slumped to a shocking run of form throughout the Autumn Nations Series.

The All Blacks turned a corner with an emphatic 23-55 win at the Principality Stadium, before the Welsh bounced back with a win over Los Pumas.


But the worst was yet to come.

A shocking loss at home to Georgia seemed to seal Pivac’s fate, before a stunning collapse against the Wallabies a week later.

Reflecting on his time in charge of Wales, Pivac said he was “very disappointed” with how it all ended.

“Obviously very disappointed not to have seen the job through to the World Cup but it’s fine margins at this level of the game, and ultimately the buck stops with me when it comes to results,” Pivac said on The Platform earlier this week.

“Very disappointed but now looking forward to the next challenge.

“Hindsight is a great thing isn’t it? There might be the odd selection here and there but ultimately it comes down to the style of game you want to play,” he added later.


“I think we did that well at times and other times we didn’t.

“Probably for me, it’s making sure that we were more consistent than we were, and there’s a lot of factors that come into that.

“But ultimately I control that. The results weren’t as good as I would’ve liked personally, and we’re probably the most critical on ourselves as coaches.

“There were some highlights obviously which I’m really, really proud of. Winning that championship and getting the record points and tries, and obviously winning for the first time in South Africa for a Welsh team.

“There were some things to be proud of but also unearthing some very, very good young talent which I think will hold Wales in good stead going forward though to probably 2027.”

Wales were clearly falling short of where they needed to be ahead of this year’s World Cup, so change was necessary.

But even when the going got tough, and losses started to become more common, not many people in the rugby world would’ve tipped Georgia’s stunning upset.

Tries to Jac Morgan saw the hosts race out to an early lead, before Georgia struck back through Sandro Todua mid-way through the second-half.

Then, with three minutes to play, Tedo Abzhandadze kicked a penalty which handed the visitors a one-point lead – which they hung onto as well.

That’s when Pivac knew his time in charge of the Wales nation team was coming to an end.

“Probably after the Georgia game to be honest, a game that Wales should never lose.

“Certainly after the game, just body language you can tell, for me the writing was on the wall then.

“We had one more game to play against Australia and that game, for 60 odd minutes of the game it was a record score against Australia and we were cruising.

“Then to lose it the way we did with a few yellow cards and an injury was pretty gutting really. All in all, very disappointing.”


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