THE current Scarlets boss will take over from Warren Gatland, who is scheduled to step down after the 2019 Rugby World Cup when he will have served more than 12 years at the helm.
Replacing the longest serving and most successful head coach in the history of the game in Wales has been a major priority for Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips since Gatland confirmed his decision to move on at the end of his contract in December 2019.
Pivac’s appointment is the result of a two year process undertaken by Phillips and WRU chairman Gareth Davies, which has involved meticulous research and extensive consultation, and this announcement leaves a year-long gap ahead of his start date, by design.
The 55-year-old former Fiji and Auckland boss – and one-time coaching colleague to both Graham Henry and Steve Hansen – will remain at the 2017 Guinness Pro12 winning Scarlets for the entirety of the 2018/19 season and will only officially come under WRU employment in July 2019.
Gatland, of course, continues in exclusive charge of Wales up to and throughout the RWC, but arrangements for a smooth handover can now be planned in earnest, with the distraction of speculation entirely removed.
“In Wayne Pivac, we have secured the best man for the job and we have done so rigorously and decisively to the collective benefit of all involved in Welsh rugby,” said Phillips.
“I am extremely grateful to the Scarlets for their support of this process and their chairman, Nigel Short, in particular who has been first class throughout.
“Both Wayne and Warren and their coaching teams, our international players, supporters and everyone at the Scarlets now have clarity and there is no underestimating the positive benefit to be gained from having the time to plan properly for the future.
“We have avoided the feeding frenzy that can come at the end of a RWC year and we have been meticulous in ensuring we have someone of the talent, experience, charisma and rugby acumen to do the very best possible job for Welsh rugby. The handover process is something we will plan carefully and commence in detail next summer.
“And, for the Scarlets, what coach, whether they are in Wales or anywhere around the rugby playing world, would not relish the opportunity to join a team of such rich history and proven professionalism?
“I would like to think that given the heritage of the Scarlets, their culture, passionate supporters, their track record of success and the quality of their squad that the head coach position will be one of the most sought after in rugby.
“In the meantime, it is vitally important that there are no distractions for Warren, his backroom team and his players and it is equally necessary that Wayne is able to concentrate exclusively on the Scarlets’ progression throughout the season ahead.”
Pivac will be the 23rd man to lead Wales since David Nash was appointed head coach in 1967 – a WRU panel of selectors ran the international teams before that time.
“It’s both a huge honour and a privilege to have been asked to be the next Wales coach,” said Pivac, whose impressive coaching CV includes a hat-trick of NPC titles with Auckland, before being voted New Zealand coach of the year in 2003, an international stint with Fiji – where he won the Pacific Tri-Nations (’04) and the 2005 RWC Sevens – and lifting the Guinness Pro12 trophy with the Scarlets in 2017.
“I know I’m following in the footsteps of someone who is held in extremely high regard, not only by the Welsh public, but also by the players who have played under him and I will be doing my best to protect the legacy which Warren Gatland, with the help of those players, will inevitably leave behind.
“What Martyn Phillips has achieved here is fairly unique in world sport, I have a further 12 months to dedicate my time to the Scarlets and, in the background, the necessary plans and preparations can be put in place to ensure a smooth transition after the World Cup.
“To be able to complete the process this far in advance helps the Scarlets, helps Wales and affords me the luxury of time in which to prepare in earnest for one of the biggest jobs in the world game.
“I’ll do everything in my power to reward the two men alongside me here today (Gareth Davies and Martyn Phillips) who have put their faith in me, but also to live up to the expectations of the hugely passionate and knowledgeable rugby loving Welsh public.
“It will be an almighty challenge, but one that I’m more than ready for and one that I will relish.”
WRU chairman Gareth Davies said: “You only have to look at the way the Scarlets play and their recent achievements to get excited about the prospect of Wayne Pivac coaching Wales.
“We have undertaken a hugely thorough process to make this appointment, it has been more than two years in the making and we were both impressed by Wayne throughout and by the variety of his accomplishments during a lengthy career in coaching.
“Wayne will bring the holistic approach to the job we are looking for and will be immediately ready to pick up where Warren leaves off – he offers the complete package and we are delighted to have secured his services.”
The finer details of Pivac’s transition period to Wales, succession planning at the Scarlets and the make-up of his backroom staff, will begin to be ironed out post-Wayne’s Scarlets responsibilities, with no further announcements on any of these subjects to be expected before next summer.
Pivac’s full and immediate attention will return to the Scarlets and the season ahead, with the confirmation of his appointment as the next coach of Wales being accompanied by the full backing of his current employers.
“We see Wayne’s appointment as a major and significant endorsement of the successful environment we have fostered here at the Scarlets,” said the Scarlets General Manager of Rugby Jon Daniels.
“We have been involved with this process at every stage alongside the WRU and are particularly grateful to have a full season to now work on our own succession planning for Wayne’s departure. Obviously we are sad to see him go, but we would not, for one second, have considered standing in his way when the country came calling and our focus is on ensuring his final season in charge sees him go out on a high as we continue to plan for the future.”
Gatland is also focussing on the here and now, but the man who has won two Grand Slams, reached a Rugby World Cup semi-final and will have led Wales on more than 120 occasions by the end of his third RWC campaign in 2019, is delighted with his countryman’s appointment.
“I would like to congratulate Wayne on the appointment and the honour of being named head coach,” added Gatland.
“Martyn and Gareth have been meticulous in their search and once they decided who the best man for the job was, they have signed him up, putting any speculation to rest.
“From a Wales squad perspective, that’s all we can ask for, we can now focus on the challenge ahead and continue to build for RWC 2019 without any distractions.
“The World Cup is a key focus and Wayne’s early appointment will help us keep that focus. Additionally I’m determined to ensure that Wayne is given the best possible opportunity to succeed in this job when he starts after the World Cup and I will do everything I can to help him.
“With the announcement now public we can plan properly and ensure smooth transition to benefit the future of Welsh rugby.”
Large crowds expected for Junior tournament
LARGE crowds are expected this coming weekend (Jul 13-14) for yet another huge occasion for Bow Street Football Club.
The club will be staging its seventeenth consecutive annual junior tournament. Since the inaugural tournament in 2003, the event has rapidly grown in to one of the most prestigious and successful in the whole of Wales.
The tournament is organised by the Spar Mid Wales League team, and games will take place on 9 different pitches at the club’s Cae Piod ground.
This year has again attracted an excellent number of entries with approximately 130 teams applying to participate in the eight different categories.
Teams from as far as Caernarfon and Cardiff will participate on the two days, and competition takes place on Saturday at under 6’s, under 8’s, under 10,s and under 11’s. On Sunday, teams compete at under 12’s, under 14’s and under 16’s.
For the sixth year running there will be a specific all girls category, which will take place on Sunday at under 12.
Bow Street FC are delighted to reveal that the tournament has a brand new sponsor. Castell Howell Foods, firmly established as one of the UK’s leading independent food wholesalers, has agreed to sponsor the extremely popular event for the next two years.
Bow Street chairman Wyn Lewis said: “We are very proud that this tournament continues to go from strength to strength, and it is obvious from the entries that amazingly, its popularity is still increasing. It is incredible that many of our categories were full a couple of months in advance of the tournament. We are very grateful to the clubs from all over Wales who continue to support us.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Brian Jones and Castell Howell Foods on board as our tournament sponsors. Castell Howell are well known for their commitment to community activities especially junior sport, and we appreciate the faith they have shown in us by agreeing to become our partners. Brian Jones is a hugely respected figure in Welsh life and having been fortunate to meet him on a few occasions, it is obvious he has a huge passion for supporting youngsters playing all sports and taking part in community-based activities. The Bow Street tournament we believe is such an event as it enjoys support from all parts of Wales.”
Castell Howell’s Managing Director, Brian Jones said: “May I say how delighted, happy and proud we are to be associated with this now very well established, popular and hugely successful Junior Football Festival organised by Bow Street FC.
“We at Castell Howell are big supporters of communities and believe greatly in giving our youngsters opportunities and we are delighted to support this superb event in Bow Street.”
One of the tournament organisers, Amlyn Ifans added: “This year has attracted an exciting number of entries yet again, and we look forward to an enjoyable two days competition! It is marvellous that a small village community club continues to facilitate such a prestigious event, which gives our own junior players valuable experience of challenging players from outside the locality.’
One of the original organisers, Allan ‘Baba’ Evans said: “I am so chuffed at the way this event has developed since we started it in 2003. I am so proud of the way that the whole club and the community always embrace the annual tournament.”
Play starts at 10.00am on both days, a wide variety of refreshments are available, and, as ever, there is ample parking space.
Old Gold opener for Aber
ABERYSTWYTH Town will begin their 2019/20 JD Welsh Premier League season with a home game against Carmarthen Town.
The fixtures for the new season were released this week with the first fixtures taking place on Friday, August 16.
Aberystwyth, who finished eighth last season, will be looking to better that and finish in the top half of the table, something they last achieved in the 2014/15 season.
Aber make the return trip to Richmond Park on Saturday, October 19.
Their first away test of the season takes them to Jenner Park for a game against Barry Town United on Friday, August 23.
The Black and Greens welcome league newcomers Airbus UK, back in the league after a two year break, on Saturday, September 7.
Other league newcomers Penybont will look to give Aber a good test when they arrive at the KYMCO Stadium on Friday, October 4.
The Boxing Day fixture this year sees them travel to Latham Park to face rivals Newtown.
The return fixture at Park Avenue will take place on New Years Day.
Aberystwyth will end the first phase of the season when they take on Penybont at Park Avenue on Friday, January 17.
The Black and Greens recently announced that Gavin Allen would be their new Head of Coaching and Head of youth.
He will oversee the club’s academy, develop players and community links, oversee Coach development and liase with the FAW Trust to deliver on their key strategic aims.
Allen, who possesses an A-license Coaching Qualification, was appointed as First Team Assistant Manager in September 2018 and his experience was a welcome addition to the squad and coaching staff at Park Avenue.
The Black and Greens’ friendly schedule will kick off on Tuesday, July 9, when Mid Wales League big hitters Llanidloes Town visit Park Avenue for a 7.30pm kick off. Four days later Championship North outfit Gresford Athletic will follow the Daffs down the A44.
Aberystwyth Town have also confirmed that despite agreeing terms with the Club, Les Davies and Leo Riley have decided to sign elsewhere for Clubs lower down the pyramid.
Bow Street celebrate 2018/19 season
AN excellent gathering of players, wives, girlfriends and officials attended the annual Bow Street Football Club dinner at the Marine Hotel in Aberystwyth on May 17, to celebrate the end of the 2018/2019 season.
The season saw both the first and reserve teams consolidate themselves in their respective leagues after indifferent starts. The highlight though was the Under 19 team winning the Mid Wales League Cup and finishing runners up in their league.
All enjoyed a magnificent carvery, and the Chairman, Wyn Lewis thanked the Marine for the superb welcome and warm hospitality.
The Chairman thanked all at the club who had contributed during the season both on and off the field.
He was particularly proud of all the support that the teams had received during the season.
He then announced the first award of the evening – ‘Clubman Of The Year’.
This proved an extremely popular announcement as it was awarded to Richard Lucas, who is stepping down from the first team Management after 5 years.
Richard has contributed fully to the activities of the club for over 20 years as a player, junior coach and coordinator and as part of the senior team management.
Sion Manley and Rhys Evans the Under 19 Managers then introduced the awards for a team which had exceeded all expectations by winning the prestigious League Cup.
The popular management duo of Rhodri Jones and Leighton Reynolds introduced the awards in relation to the Reserve team, and Barry Williams, Richard Lucas and Amlyn Ifans, the First team management, announced the awards relating to the senior team.
The final award of the evening was the Pat Evans Memorial Award, which was given to the ‘Supporters’ Player Of The Year’ – winner being Tomos Wyn Roberts.
The evening, concluded with short speeches from Dylan Roberts on behalf of the sponsors and Allan ‘Baba’ Evans, vice president of the club.
Bow Street FC Firsts
Players player of the year: Matthew Pemberthy & Tom Wyn Roberts
Supporters player of the year: Tom Wyn Roberts
Top Goalscorer: Tomos Williams
Manager’s player of the year: Matthew Pemberthy
Young player of the year: Ryan Evans
Most improved young player: Bradley Walsh
Bow Street Reserves
Managers Player of the Year: Jac Williams
Player of the year: Neil Davies & Shaun Jones
Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones
Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones
Players Player: Siencyn Jones
Managers Player: Harry Turner
Clubman Of The Year: Richard Lucas
Popular This Week
Farming3 days ago
Local farmer sentenced for animal welfare offences
Community4 days ago
Council supports the Learning Disabilities ‘My Charter’
News1 week ago
Success for Communities for Work Plus project in it’s first 12 months
Community4 days ago
New Children’s Book based on local fisherman
News2 days ago
Dyfed-Powys Police Prepares for Royal Welsh Show
Sport2 weeks ago
Large crowds expected for Junior tournament
News1 week ago
New Quay RNLI tasked to suspected fishing boat in distress
News2 weeks ago
Climate change protest outside Aberystwyth Barclays