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Wales boss Gatland wants coaching staff to stay put

By Nick Purewal

Published 31/10/2015

Plea: Warren Gatland wants coaches to stay
Plea: Warren Gatland wants coaches to stay

Wales boss Warren Gatland has said he wants his current coaching staff to remain in place "until at least 2019".

Head coach Gatland has a deal in place for the next four years but defence specialist Shaun Edwards is currently out of contract and the existing terms for attack coach Rob Howley and forwards coach Robin McBryde expire next summer.

Wales reached the World Cup quarter-finals, bowing out to South Africa a fortnight ago, and a review of the tournament and future plans for the national team has now been completed by Gatland and his senior management staff.

Gatland has enjoyed considerable success during a Wales reign that started in early 2008, highlighted by Wales winning three Six Nations titles - including two Grand Slams - and reaching the 2011 World Cup semi-finals.

The review also spanned fitness and conditioning, medical care, analysis, support staff and coaching, with input from all the current personnel.

Gatland has confirmed his full confidence in the current management personnel and indicated his intention to maintain the present coaching team in full.

And he is now managing discussions internally, aimed at ensuring all the current coaches remain in place with Wales.

"We have had an extremely thorough review and I have subsequently spoken to all the coaches, ideally wanting them to stay in place until at least 2019," Gatland said in a statement placed on the Welsh Rugby Union website.

"I am aware that as a group and as individuals they have all developed strongly over recent years and can accurately be described as world-class.

"I want Wales to continue to benefit from that level of skill and excellence in the years ahead.

"We have already been through a significant change with the departure of our head of physical performance, Adam Beard, shortly before the Rugby World Cup, but Paul Stridgeon has proved an excellent replacement.

"It is very important to balance the need to invigorate and refresh any coaching environment with the desire to achieve continuity within a successful group.

"There has been some unhelpful speculation regarding the future of individuals within the coaching team, and I would therefore ask for privacy and the process to be respected."

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