Warren Gatland replaces Wayne Pivac as new Wales head coach

The 59-year-old takes the job for a second time after his successful 12-year stint ended in 2019.

By Callum Rice-Coates Published: 5 December 2022 - 2.33pm
Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland has returned as Wales head coach after the departure of Wayne Pivac following a disappointing Autumn Nations Series.

Gatland, who previously held the job from 2007 to 2019, will lead the team for next year’s Six Nations and World Cup.

New Zealander Pivac won just three of his 12 games in charge in 2022 and defeat to Georgia last month was a low point.

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Wales have now opted to reappoint Pivac’s compatriot Gatland, who is the country’s most successful ever coach having won four Six Nations titles and reached two World Cup semi-finals.

Welsh Rugby Union said in a statement: “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. We thank him sincerely for his time, enthusiasm, diligence and effort, which is unquestioned, as head coach over the last three years.”

After his first stint as Wales coach ended in 2019, Gatland had a brief spell as head coach of New Zealand club Chiefs, where he became director of rugby last year.

“This is an opportunity to achieve something with a talented group of players in a country so passionate about rugby,” Gatland said on his return to Wales.

“A country which made my family and I so welcome, when we first arrived 15 years ago, and all the time we were there.

“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.

Gatland led Wales to Six Nations victory in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2019

“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.”

WRU chief executive Steve Phillips added: “In Warren we are bringing in one of the very best coaches in the international game.

“We were sorry to see him go when he left and we are delighted that he has agreed to return.

“We know him well and, most importantly, he knows us well too. We are extremely excited about this latest chapter for Wales-and-Warren-Gatland and I know the feeling is mutual.”