It’s been a tough weekend for Wales head coach Wayne Pivac and his coaching ticket, and one Welsh rugby insider is predicting the New Zealander will be out of a job within a year.
Wales fell to a fifth straight on Saturday, losing to against Scotland in Llanelli, the first time the men in blue have beaten their hosts on Welsh soil in 18 years. The result has heaped further pressure on Pivac and his backroom staff, who has the unenviable task of taking over from the coaching icon that was Warren Gatland.
After the game Pivac implied regime change would take time, although he refused to lay the blame for the Scotland loss on that particular factor: “There are fine margins, and we realise that. Certainly, at the moment, we are not playing consistently well over the 80 minutes. There has been change in personnel and the way we want to do things. We know that takes a bit of time.”
Now London Welsh head coach and former Ospreys prop Cai Griffiths has openly predicted that Pivac and his defence coach – Byron Hayward – won’t last 12 months, despite a contract with three years to run on it.
“Pivac and Byron will be out within a year,” tweeted Griffiths over the weekend. “I’m not calling him out just what I’m seeing and hearing.”
Pivac and Byron will be out within a a year.
I'm not calling him out just what I'm seeing and hearing.
— Cai Griffiths (@CaiGriffiths) October 31, 2020
When questioned as to what his opinion was on Pivac’s appointment, he tweeted: “Totally wrong appointment. No track history. 1 off Pro 14 title means nothing.”
He went on to suggest that Pivac didn’t have the luxury of bedding into the job and should be given time to change the style of the team, posting: “No because he’s not an international coach.”
Griffiths isn’t the first person to criticise Pivac, whose Welsh charges haven’t won a game since a thumping Italy 42 – 0 in February. Over the weekend Welsh media piled on to the coach and his team for their tepid performance against Scotland, where they barely got a shot off order than a Rhys Carre try.
It won’t be getting any easier either, as they travel to Dublin to take on Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup in the Aviva Stadium on November 13th. If Wales fail to register a win over Andy Farrell’s men, Pivac will at least have the comfort of the much more manageable task of Georgia in Llanelli on November 21st. A win over Georgia won’t do much to curry favour with the Welsh public, but a win the following weekend over Guinness Six Nations champions England certainly would.
The prospect of just two wins – over Italy and Georgia respectively – in a calendar year might be more than the Welsh rugby could bear, even if it is 2020 with all that that entails.
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