Wayne Pivac to succeed Gatland as Wales head coach

Wayne Pivac led Scarlets to their first major trophy in 13 years

Gatland steps down after the 2019 World Cup and fellow New Zealander Pivac has always been touted as his successor.

The reflex reaction whenever a significant coaching vacancy crops up is often to look to New Zealand for candidates.

Gatland's 12-year reign will make him the nation's longest-serving and most successful head coach.

Pivac meanwhile led the Scarlets to the Guinness PRO14 title in 2017 for the first time in over a decade, before again taking them to the final this season where they lost to Leinster, along with a European Champions Cup semi-final.

"It's both a huge honour and a privilege to have been asked to be the next Wales coach", said Pivac, whose previous experience at national level is with Fiji from 2004-07.

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The 55-year-old, who coached Fiji at global level from 2004 to 2007, has been in charge at the Scarlets for the past four seasons, having initially been assistant to Simon Easterby.

But before the 2014-15 campaign began, Easterby left to become Ireland forwards coach and Pivac took charge.

"It will be an almighty challenge, but one that I'm more than ready for and one that I will relish".

Martyn Phillips, chief executive of the WRU, said that there should be no complaints after a rigorous selection process which took two years to complete.

Davies revealed a respected figure in New Zealand rugby had told him on that trip that he knew "leading players who had played under (Graham) Henry, (Steve) Hansen and Pivac - and who rated Pivac the best of the three".

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