Wales success set to carry on, says Robin McBryde
Wales coaching trio will leave their posts after World Cup campaign ends.
Robin McBryde has admitted being jealous of his Wales coaching successors.
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McBryde, his fellow assistant Shaun Edwards and Wales head coach Warren Gatland will leave the posts they have held for 12 years following Friday’s World Cup bronze medal match against New Zealand.
Former Scarlets boss Wayne Pivac takes over after the tournament, with the likes of Stephen Jones and Jonathan Humphreys working with him.
“I’ve had my time, but I am jealous of any coach that is going to grab hold and work with these players,” forwards specialist McBryde said.
Any coach, coming in to work with these individuals, they have to be excited. Robin McBryde
“Look at the ages of some of them and the successful experiences they’ve had. Any coach, coming in to work with these individuals, they have to be excited.
“The talent there – Tomos Williams to name one who has stood out, Aaron Wainwright is another one. These are young men who have got really bright futures.”
Wales’ tense semi-final loss to South Africa means a consolation play-off now awaits against the All Blacks, who were beaten by England.
Wales have not beaten the All Blacks for 66 years, losing 30 successive Tests against them, but it would be a perfect time to end that sequence as Gatland and company prepare for their farewell.
“Obviously, there was a big disappointment after coming so close to making it to the final,” McBryde added.
“But it has gone, it’s done and we just have to focus on the next game.
“It’s the last game of the World Cup playing against the All Blacks. It’s a fantastic opportunity to go out there and just enjoy it.
“There is no pressure on either side, so hopefully we can play with freedom, and having nothing to lose allows you to do that.
“New Zealand will also be a very dangerous team because of that, but we just have to enter into the spirit of the occasion, go out there and make it a great game.
“The game against South Africa was a tense affair, quite a tight game really. I think it will be the complete opposite on Friday night.
“There will be two teams going out there and wanting to show their skills. Hopefully, it will be a good advert for rugby as well.
“I don’t think it would be the same if we were facing somebody else, because the All Blacks are the All Blacks. Not every team gets the opportunity to face them, especially in a World Cup.”
Asked what it would mean to beat the All Blacks, McBryde said: “It’s the only thing we haven’t done, isn’t it? It’s the last opportunity for us (as coaches).
“It would be good to get one over on Steve Hansen – he’s miserable as hell, isn’t he? I can say that because I know him pretty well.
“I’ve got the utmost respect for them as a coaching team. We go back a long way. I look forward to crossing paths again, and if we manage to get one over on them, then brilliant.”
A third-place finish would equal Wales’ best World Cup campaign since the inaugural tournament 32 years ago.
It would also send Gatland out on a high following a reign highlighted by four Six Nations titles, three Grand Slams and two World Cup semi-final appearances.
“There is an expectancy and the environment he has created in the last 12 years. You have seen players flourish and really grow in that environment,” McBryde added.
“There is no better legacy than the players that are here now, the players that will be here in eight years at other World Cups.
“These players have been given the best opportunity possible. There is a no excuse sort of environment. There’s no way out.
“That expectancy, that pressure, is always there to win. Warren’s mentality has fed down to everybody. Regardless of who we are playing, we expect to go out there and win.”