Wales & Wayne Pivac: Dai Young doubts Welsh coach could lead team

Wales & Wayne Pivac: Dai Young doubts Welsh coach could lead team


Dai Young is in his second stint in charge of Cardiff

Dai Young has questioned whether a Welsh coach could lead the national team if Wayne Pivac left his role.

The Cardiff boss has previously spoken of his ambition to succeed the New Zealander in 2023.

However, with a Welsh Rugby Union review considering Pivac’s position, Young ruled himself out of an interim role leading to next year’s World Cup.

The 55-year-old doubts whether any Welshman could muster the backing required to prosper in the job.

He said: “Wayne is the Wales coach and, as someone working in the system, I’ll back him 100%. If someone else steps in then I’ll back them as well, but it’s certainly not a job for me.

“It’s a tough job with everything going on at the moment and, to be quite honest, it’s probably not a job for a Welshman right now.

“When you step into a job like that, you’re not going to have everyone behind you, but you need most.

“At the moment I don’t see a Welsh appointment. It would be different if someone was coming off the back of winning the league or a European final, but none of us are.

“Whoever has that job needs everyone behind them and there’s not many of us with the right accent.”

Only two Welshmen, Mike Ruddock and Gareth Jenkins, have held the post on a full-time basis in the past 24 years and they were in position for only three years between them.

Warren Gatland and Wayne Pivac
Warren Gatland worked as a television pundit during the Autumn Test Series

The winds of change are blowing again after an underwhelming autumn campaign that included a thrashing by New Zealand and a first loss to Georgia, which followed a dismal Six Nations.

Warren Gatland to take over as interim head coach to the 2023 World Cup should Pivac depart.

Scott Robertson, Steve Tandy, Ronan O’Gara, Brad Mooar and Steve Borthwick have also been considered.

Perhaps significantly, Pivac has not travelled to France to look at World Cup venues as had been planned previously.

Young added: “We were all disappointed by the results but it’s easy to throw stones when you’re outside the camp.

“We know how hard everyone works and sometimes things just don’t go your way. They could have easily won the last game [against Australia] but things turned against them. We’ve all been there.”

Young has harboured ambitions of leading the national team that he represented with distinction 51 times as a player between 1987 and 2001.

While Wales were throwing away a 20-point lead to Australia, Young’s stock rose further when he masterminded a first win on South African soil by a Welsh region last weekend.

However, he says the Wales job “doesn’t interest” him at the moment.

“I’m really enjoying what I’m doing at Cardiff. I’ve undertaken a huge project and I don’t feel I’m even at the start line given all the things going on,” he said.

“It’s very hard to plan a way forward when there’s so much uncertainty around the game, but I’m 100% committed to Cardiff.”

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