The Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed that Wales coach Wayne Pivac has signed a contract extension through to the 2023 World Cup.
Prior to Wales’ 2021 Six Nations Championship title triumph, Pivac had been under pressure and his job in jeopardy following a set of poor results throughout the Covid-19-affected 2020 season.
But Pivac’s Welsh side turned things around in 2021 with a stunning Six Nations campaign during which they were only really challenged by France for the title.
Writing in the latest WRU weekly status update, CEO Steve Phillips said: ‘Wayne Pivac has the 2023 Rugby World Cup firmly in his sights and a comprehensive plan for Wales to arrive there at the peak of our powers with the full backing of the Welsh Rugby Union to achieve that aim.
‘We meet after every campaign to discuss how we are tracking against any plan. We met after the Autumn Nations Cup. That campaign, as stated publicly by management at the time, was about giving players the opportunity to experience Test rugby and to give management the opportunity to see how they fared.
‘Wayne was equally unambiguous about his distinction between the autumn and the Guinness Six Nations championship where we would be playing tournament rugby and results mattered. If silverware was the only measure then, of course, winning both the Triple Crown and the tournament itself can be viewed as “mission accomplished”.
‘It is vitally important that we assess our progress in a considered way. In professional sport it is possible to go from hero to zero and back again in a fortnight. To avoid knee-jerk reactions we measure progress against short- and long-term goals. Wayne, the management and the players are, by any measure, progressing extremely well.
‘Winning the championship this year was an obvious short-term goal, but we have been equally impressed by what was achieved this autumn when the stall was set to blood new players, improve strength in depth and bed in a new and varied approach to tactics and gameplans.