WARREN GATLAND has been re-appointed as Wales boss after Wayne Pivac was sacked following a dreadful run ahead of the World Cup.
Wales stuttered their way through the autumn internationals and lost three of their four games.
This included a shock defeat to Georgia which intensified questions about Pivac’s position.
The New Zealander has now been sacked less than a year before the World Cup after taking charge in 2019.
He had been the director of rugby at New Zealand team the Chiefs.
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Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) CEO Steve Phillips confirmed Gatland will take charge of next year’s Autumn Nations and World Cup – and could even stay for the next World Cup in 2027.
The 59-year-old oversaw four Six Nations titles and three Grand Slams wins during his successful time in charge.
Phillips paid tribute to Pivac in a statement but said the poor results had forced his hand.
He 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.
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“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 said he is looking forward to next year’s tournaments as he bids to get Wales back on track.
He said: “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 fifteen 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.”