Welsh Rugby Union bosses have come out and publicly backed Wayne Pivac despite the new Wales coach’s five-game losing streak and last weekend’s fifth-place Six Nations finish.   

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Wales finished top of the Six Nations in March 2019, Warren Gatland signing off with a championship Grand Slam before handing over the reins to Scarlets coach Pivac following last November’s fourth-place finish at the World Cup in Japan. 

He has since presided over a poor run of results, Wales losing five games on the bounce following an expected opening day win over Italy last February. 

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Jamie Roberts and Dylan Hartley assess Wales under Wayne Pivac in the latest RugbyPass Offload episode

Those defeats have sparked a debate over whether Pivac is the right coach to take Wales on and Steve Phillips, the WRU CEO, has now attempted to nip that speculation in the bud by backing their man through to France 2023.

In his weekly WRU status update, Phillips wrote: “Wayne Pivac is a man with a long-term vision and it’s one that will be shared throughout Welsh rugby. That vision is for our nation to succeed at the Rugby World Cup in 2023. 

“This doesn’t mean there aren’t immediate short and medium-term goals and losing matches is never on the checklist. But having already established a top-four seeding at the 2023 tournament, some of the pressure on results necessarily abates.

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“During our recent regular meetings, Wayne has been open and honest in his assessment of performances on the pitch, but there has now been a ‘line drawn in the sand’ in camp and the forthcoming Autumn Nations Cup provides a new opportunity for both development and progress.  

“Performances may not have been as Wayne has wanted for his talented squad, nor indeed what he knows is achievable. But there is nothing better after a setback than to be immediately presented with the opportunity to re-set and improve on what has gone before. 

“Against Ireland on November 13, Wales will kick-off a new and exciting tournament, one in which players – some new and others becoming established – will gain immeasurably from the experience and where we will be striving for significant improvements in both performances and results.

“We will need to create the momentum to ensure we realise our full potential and deliver during the 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign in the new year.”

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