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Sam Warburton joins Welsh Rugby Union coaching team

Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Rugby Union has announced former Wales captain Sam Warburton is joining the coaching team as a technical advisor.

Warburton was capped 74 times for Wales and 175 times for Cardiff Blues.

The defensive duo join Stephen Jones, Jonathan Humphreys and Neil Jenkins in the coaching team with all five of Pivac’s assistants former Wales internationals, three of whom are former Wales captains.

Hayward returns to the WRU where he had a successful stint as Wales U20 head coach and National Academy skills coach before joining the Scarlets as defence coach in 2014.

Whilst in Llanelli Hayward helped the region to their first Guinness Pro12 title in 2017 and to reach the Pro14 final and the Champions Cup semi-final a year later.

Warburton, who led his country more times than any other Welshman and led the British & Irish Lions on two successful tours, returns to the international game in a new capacity.

I’m delighted to be part of the senior national coaching team. It is a genuine privilege to be considered for such a role and I can’t wait to do my upmost to contribute to help improve the team and players.

With such a great group of players and management it is an amazing opportunity which I am very proud to be given.

– Sam Warburton

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Both individuals are highly respected, knowledgeable and experienced in their disciplines and will add a great deal to the environment.

Byron has a great coaching CV with experience in England, the club game in Wales, the age-grade system and his five successful years with the Scarlets.

Sam is one of the most experienced leaders in rugby with excellent knowledge and communication skills and having only recently retired he has a full grasp on the international game.

– Wayne Pivac, Wales head coach

Former Head Coach Gatland has returned to New Zealand to take up the role of head coach at Super Rugby outfit Chiefs before also leading the British and Irish Lions to South Africa in 2021.

Former attack coach Rob Howley is currently under investigation for an alleged breach of World Rugby betting rules. He had previously been linked with the Italy head coach role.

Robin McBryde has joined Leinster as forwards coach, while place-kicking expert Neil Jenkins is remaining within the Wales set up under new Wales coach Wayne Pivac.

Wales finished in 4th place at the World Cup after losing to New Zealand in the Bronze match.

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I’m very proud and can’t wait to get stuck in and work with the cream of Welsh rugby.

I appreciate the privileged position I’m in and I’m looking forward to getting going with the squad and building on the good work that has been done before.

– Byron Hayward, defence coach