Wales defence coach Byron Hayward has left his role with ‘immediate effect’. The former Wales U20 and Scarlets coach joined head coach Wayne Pivac’s coaching team in 2019 but has left his role by mutual agreement ahead of the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup campaign.

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The WRU have said in a statement that the “existing experienced coaching team” will manage the defence for the Autumn Nations Cup. Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: “I would like to thank Byron for all his hard work with Wales and thank him for his honesty in recent meetings.

“I have worked alongside Byron for six and a half years, he is a dedicated coach that has had great success in his career.

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Pivac reacts to Wales’ loss:

“On reflection of the last campaign it was mutually decided that the best way forward for Wales and for Byron is for him to step down from his role.

“I, on behalf of the squad and management, would like to wish Byron all the best for the future.

“In the short-term, for the upcoming four matches, the existing coaching team will manage the defence based on the foundations already put in place. We will then look to replace Byron on a full-time basis with an announcement in due course.”

Hayward said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Wales and it was an honour to coach my country.

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“As I have always said from day one, the team comes first and upon reflection of the last campaign with Wayne we felt it was best for me to step aside.

“When I took the role last year I wouldn’t have planned to be leaving as the squad prepare to start the new international season, I believe it is the right decision for myself and the squad as they enter a new campaign.

“I would like to wish Wayne and the squad all the best going forward and I will be fully supporting them.”

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