Gatland makes sensational Wales return to replace Pivac

By Sports Desk December 05, 2022

Warren Gatland has agreed to make a sensational return to the Wales head coach role after Wayne Pivac was relieved of his duties.

Pivac paid the price for defeats against New Zealand, Georgia and Australia last month.

New Zealander Pivac replaced his compatriot Gatland after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, but has fallen short of expectations.

Gatland, who had such a successful first 12-year spell serving Wales, will leave his position with Super Rugby side the Chiefs to take charge in the Six Nations, the World Cup in France next year and potentially through to the 2027 tournament in Australia.

Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) CEO Steve Phillips said: "This is one of the toughest calls to make in sport, but the review process has reached its conclusion and we have acted quickly and efficiently in the very best interests of our national team.

"Ultimately we are in the results business and we have agreed with Wayne that the current trajectory for Wales is not where we want it to be and we thank him sincerely for his time, enthusiasm, diligence and effort, which is unquestioned, as head coach over the last three years."

Gatland masterminded Six Nations Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012, then won the Six Nations in 2019.

"I'm very much looking forward to returning to coach Wales," said Gatland.

"This is an opportunity to achieve something with a talented group of players in a country so passionate about rugby. A country which made my family and I so welcome, when we first arrived 15 years ago, and all the time we were there.

"Our immediate priority is obviously the 2023 Guinness Six Nations and next year's Rugby World Cup.

"There is little time for sentiment, professional sport is all about preparation, values and results. There will be new challenges as there always is with a change in head coach, but for me the environment, the players and their families will always come first.

"We must prepare to the best of our ability in the time available. We will value and respect each other, we will work hard and, if we get this right together, performances and results will follow."

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