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Pivac: Jones and Humphreys will offer a lot to Wales

Pivac: Jones and Humphreys will offer a lot to Wales
© Reuters
The Scarlets coach has named his backroom team for when he takes over from Warren Gatland.

Incoming Wales coach Wayne Pivac has hailed the passion of Stephen Jones and Jonathan Humphreys after choosing them to join his backroom staff.

Pivac, who will succeed Wales boss Warren Gatland after next autumn's World Cup in Japan, has named his current Scarlets assistant Jones as backs coach and Humphreys as forwards coach.

The pair both captained Wales during their distinguished playing careers, and it was announced on Wednesday that they would be joining Pivac's backroom staff.

At the same time it was confirmed that Neil Jenkins, Wales' all-time record points scorer and kicking coach, and Paul Stridgeon, the WRU's head of physical performance, will remain on board after Gatland's 12-year reign comes to an end.

"It was a fairly quick exercise really," Pivac said of the appointments of Jones and Humphreys.

"Both are very experienced and successful coaches with great playing careers. Both are Welsh and very passionate rugby men.

"I think that has shown through and they will offer a lot to the national team."

Rugby Union – 2015 Rugby World Cup – Wales Captain's Run – Twickenham
Wales' kicking coach Neil Jenkins will remain in his role after Wayne Pivac takes over as Wales head coach.

Former outside-half Jones – who won 104 caps for Wales and six more for the British and Irish Lions – has worked alongside Pivac at the Scarlets for the last three years.

Humphreys has spent the last five years working in Scotland, first with the national team and more recently as assistant coach at Glasgow Warriors.

"We'll be officially on board – on the payroll so to speak – from July," said Pivac, who will adopt a watching brief in Japan before his first Six Nations Championship in 2020 and a planned summer tour.

"A lot of work is being done behind the scenes, things that are beneficial in terms of planning post-Rugby World Cup.

"There are regions to get around and build relationships with.

"But we've got roles with the Scarlets and Glasgow until the end of the season and that is the main priority for all of us."

Jones will succeed Rob Howley as being in control of the Wales back division.

The 41-year-old batted away criticism that the downturn in the Scarlets' form is the result of the summer announcement that Pivac would succeed his fellow New Zealander Gatland.

The Scarlets reached the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup last season but have lost all four pool games this term and are bottom of their group.

"I don't think Wayne's appointment has anything to do with our injury list," Jones said.

"Our injuries have been well documented, and the boys are fully aware that Wayne is going onto an international role and are desperate to prove their value to him.

"It's not had one negative effect on the group."

Former hooker Humphreys returns to Wales after prefacing his time in Scotland with a seven-year coaching spell at the Ospreys between 2006 and 2013.

"What I've learned (in Scotland) is that the relationship between players, unions and coaches is a massive one," Humphreys said.

"The most we can get out there and be with the players day-to-day with the clubs is really key for the role.

"The chance to coach my country is something I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do, but I want to get out there and develop a relationship with the regions."

Scarlets defence coach Byron Hayward is the favourite to succeed Shaun Edwards after the 2019 World Cup, with an announcement expected soon.


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Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac on October 22, 2016
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Stephen Jones and Jonathan Humphreys to join Pivac's Wales backroom team
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