Sam Warburton joins Wales coaching staff

Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Ex-captain Sam Warburton and former international Byron Hayward are joining the Wales backroom team under new head coach Wayne Pivac, it was announced on Friday.

Hayward will be defence coach and Warburton will be a technical advisor for breakdown/defence.

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

Warburton played 74 Tests for Wales and led his country more times than any other Welshman. He also led the British and Irish Lions on two tours.

He retired in July 2018 at the age of 29 following a string of injuries.

"I’m delighted to bring both Byron and Sam into the set-up and add to what is already a vastly experienced coaching team," said Pivac.

"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," he added.

"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."

Warburton said he was delighted to be part of the coaching team.

"It is a genuine privilege to be considered for such a role and I can’t wait to do my utmost to contribute to help improve the team and players," he said.

New Zealander Pivac replaced Warren Gatland as head coach after the World Cup in Japan, where Wales reached the semi-finals.