Shane Williams backs Warren Gatland’s Wales return on one condition

Shane Williams

Shane Williams has stressed that Warren Gatland must help to develop Welsh coaches if he is to return as Wales head coach.

Reports in recent days have suggested that Gatland is set to make a sensational return as Wales head coach if the Welsh Rugby Union decide to relieve Wayne Pivac of his duties after a disappointing year.

While the immediate focus for any head coach who takes charge of Wales would be to succeed in next year’s Six Nations and Rugby World Cup, there is certainly a sense that more than a quick fix is required.

Wales great Shane Williams was speaking to WalesOnline about Gatland’s potential return and stressed that developing a successor should be high on the list of the WRU’s priorities.

Shane Williams on Warren Gatland.

“What I’d like to see is that if Warren is involved, we don’t know if it’ll be him yet, that he’s there to nurture future coaches who aren’t quite ready for that step-up,” Williams commented.

“So not only developing the players of the national team, but the coaching aspect. There are some really good Welsh coaches in and outside of the country who could come in and do a job.

“I’m a really big fan of Steve Tandy. He’s done a great job in Scotland and he could potentially come back and be nurtured by Warren Gatland.

“There’s guys like Stephen Jones and Gethin Jenkins still in the set-up. And then there’s talk of Rob Howley coming back, who I believed was a really, really good coach that I certainly got the benefits of working with.

“We need to be clever. If Warren is coming back, we don’t just want him for the season and then say, ‘Thank you very much.’ We need him to help us get out of the doldrums so we can look ahead to the World Cup after this one.”

A decision is yet to be made.

The WRU described the Autumn Nations Series as “extremely disappointing” and put particular emphasis on Wales’ first-ever loss to Georgia.

A review of the Autumn Nations Series is currently ongoing, while Ieuan Evans was announced as the new chair of the WRU on Wednesday.

Evans stressed that if the WRU stands still it will go backwards and argued that the time to “push on” is now, although he made no reference to the current head coach situation.

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