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Warburton, Hayward join Wales coaching team

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has appointed former captain Sam Warburton as the team’s new technical advisor for defence and breakdown, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said on Friday.

The 31-year-old Warburton, who retired in July last year having failed to return to full fitness following neck and knee surgery, will be joined by former Wales flyhalf Byron Hayward who was named defence coach.

“I’m delighted to bring both Byron and Sam into the setup and add to what is already a vastly experienced coaching team,” Pivac, whose staff includes ex-internationals Stephen Jones, Jonathan Humphreys and Neil Jenkins, said in a statement

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

Warburton, who earned 74 Wales caps, said it was a “genuine privilege” to be considered for the role.

“I can’t wait to do my upmost to contribute to help improve the team and players.”

Hayward previously had a stint as Wales under-20 head coach and was also their national academy skills coach before joining the Scarlets as their defence coach in 2014.

“Wayne has put together a coaching team with a wealth of experience and knowledge and it will bring variety on and off the field and I’m excited about what lies ahead,” he said.

Wales finished fourth at the Rugby World Cup in Japan earlier this month.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)