02 July 2020

Wales rugby launch search for new head coach as they look to ‘close the gap’ on other nations

Wales Rugby Union have launched their search for a new head coach for the women’s side as they remain dedicated to the women’s game amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes after it was confirmed in March that Rowland Phillips would step down from the role. 

Welsh captain Siwan Lillicap plays for Premier 15s side Bristol Bears (Twitter: Wales Rugby Union)

He had not been present for the autumn internationals or the Six Nations with Chris Horsman, Geraint Lewis and Gareth Wyatt all stepping in to coach the side.

During the Six Nations campaign Wales lost all four of their matches, including a heavy 66-7 defeat to England.

The WRU also said whoever takes the position will also coach Wales’ Women’s Sevens side.

WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said: "We have approved plans to grow the women's game and to strengthen its performance side.

"Covid-19 has impacted those plans like all areas of our organisation, but we have taken the conscious decision to continue with planned investments. 

"We hope this will allow us to make progress in closing the gap with the top nations in women's rugby."

The governing body added they are also looking for a performance analyst and a physical performance lead.

If Wales can appoint people in these roles before autumn of this year it is understood they are hopeful the side can build a strong team before the World Cup in New Zealand next summer.

And WRU women and girls general manager Charlotte Wathan said they also hoped their performance players would compete in the Premier 15s.

"In the short term, the intention is our performance players will train and play for Premier 15s clubs.

"Longer term we aim to establish two high performance centres in Wales, hopefully leading to the development of two competitive 'super clubs'.

"We know we have talented players in Wales and we believe these measures will help to further harness that talent and create an environment which increases competition for places in the programme.

"Part of the role of the new staff will also be to raise coaching and conditioning standards across the female game in Wales."

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