Wales Rugby chairman Gareth Davies has detailed conversations had on the tour of New Zealand back in 2016 to the Guardian, which influenced the decision to appoint Scarlets coach and Kiwi Wayne Pivac as the next national head coach.
“It is fair to say that when we started this process, during the Wales tour to New Zealand in 2016, Wayne was not a leading contender,” he said.
“But I remember having a game of golf in Wellington with someone I will not name who said that he knew a number of players who had worked with Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and Wayne and they rated Wayne the best of them.”
The high praise for the coach has been backed up by recent results, with Pivac turning Scarlets into a force in Europe albeit with inferior resources to the top English, Irish and French clubs. He will join Wales on a four-year deal as part of the next World Cup cycle towards 2023.
“We have secured the best man for the job and we have done so rigorously and decisively to the collective benefit of all involved in Welsh rugby,” WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said.
“Both Wayne and Warren and their coaching teams, our international players, supporters and everyone at the Scarlets now have clarity and there is no underestimating the positive benefit to be gained from having the time to plan properly for the future.
The decision to announce the signing now is to have some stability following the turbulent World Cup year, allowing ample planning time to hand over the role.
“We have avoided the feeding frenzy that can come at the end of a World Cup year and we have been meticulous in ensuring we have someone of the talent, experience, charisma and rugby acumen to do the very best possible job for Welsh rugby.
“The handover process is something we will plan carefully and commence in detail next summer.”
Pivac’s family is ecstatic over his promotion, the reward for years of sacrifice and moving to the other side of the world.
“In the last few days, the only people I’ve been able to celebrate with are my mum and dad and my son and the other one, who is living in Australia, over the phone,” Pivac told Wales Online.
“They’ve supported me right from when I was five years of age when they took me down to play in the cold with bare feet.
“I was allowed to sit down with mum and dad and tell them, but they were told it’s top secret.”
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