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No Welsh coach could fill Warren Gatland's shoes

No Welsh coach could fill Warren Gatland's shoes 

There were no Welsh coaches suitable to replace Warren Gatland after the next World Cup, says Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips.

Scarlets' New Zealand-born coach Wayne Pivac has been appointed to succeed Gatland after the 2019 tournament.

Pivac will be the fourth New Zealander to be head coach of Wales since 1998, after Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and Gatland.

"We would like to have had more choice [of Welsh coaches]," admitted Phillips.

"First and foremost we had to pick the best coach but in an ideal world that person would be Welsh as well, but there was not anyone we felt was ready to step into those shoes.

"We will be working hard on that behind the scenes, it's not an easy fix, and you can't appoint someone because they are Welsh."

However, Phillips said the WRU would be working closely with the regional sides to help Welsh coaches in the future.

"We have a lot of experienced Welsh coaches in the set-up now and we will try to keep them in Welsh rugby and make the most of them, as well as giving others a chance," added Phillips.

"We will look at that as Wales and regional rugby together, and if we can make a Welsh appointment we will take that opportunity."

SB

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