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Wayne Pivac In Line For Wales Call . . . And A 12-month Countdown To Replace Warren Gatland

Wayne Pivac is poised to be confirmed as Warren Gatland’s successor as Wales coach.

Pivac has been a long-standing favourite to take over from his fellow New Zealander after next year’s World Cup, having moved ahead of another Kiwi, Dave Rennie.

But the Welsh Rugby Union have called a press conference for Monday afternoon, where it is anticipated Pivac will be unveiled as the man to replace Gatland in just over a year.

Pivacn – who guided the Scarlets to the Guinness Pro12 title the season before last – will become the fourth New Zealander to oversee the Wales team in the past 20 years.

The former policeman will stay on for another season at Parc Y Scarlets, before it is anticipated he and his regional assistant Stephen Jones replace Gatland and Rob Howley.

The WRU admitted they had a three man shortlist of candidates to take over from Gatland when his remarkable 11-year reign comes to an end after his third World Cup in charge in 2019. They also promised to announce Gatland’s successor this summer.

Chief executive Martyn Phillips and chairman Gareth Davies have called a press conference for when Scarlets’ supremo Pivac is expected to be announced as the 23rd man to coach the national side.

The 56-year-old switched from a humble playing background on Auckland’s North Shore, where he played for North Harbour, to become a highly successful coach, winning titles at many different levels as a coach.

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It all started for him at Northland, where the former Takapuna policeman led his side to the NPC Second Division title in 1997. Twenty years on he guided the Scarlets to a stunning 46-22 victory in the Guinness PRO12 final against Munster Rugby at the Aviva Stadium.

In between he steered Auckland to the NPC title in 2002, was voted New Zealand Coach of the Year in 2003 and guided Fiji to the Pacific Nations title in 2004 and World Cup Sevens glory a year later.

He was initially hired by the Scarlets in 2014 as an assistant coach to work with the forwards, but when Simon Easterby left his post as head coach to become the Irish forwards coach under Joe Schmidt at the start of the 2014/15 season he took total control.

He has been at Parc y Scarlets ever since and after leading the region to their first trophy in 13 years in 2017, he led them to their first European semi-final since 2007 last season and into a second successive PRO14 final.

The Scarlets now form the back bone of the Welsh team and the style that Pivac has been able to instil in his side has made them one of the most attractive teams in Europe.

The big question is whether or not he will take both Scarlets’ backs coach Jones and defence coach Bryon Hayward with him.


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