Welsh Rugby Union ready to act on ‘planned’ review into Wales’ autumn campaign

Welsh Rugby Union ready to act on 'planned' review into Wales' autumn campaign

Wayne Pivac and Stephen Jones have worked together with Scarlets and Wales

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Steve Phillips has confirmed a review will be conducted into Wales’ underwhelming autumn campaign.

Phillips described the 13-12 defeat to Georgia as “extremely disappointing”.

He says the WRU will be ready to act on the review’s findings but stressed the “proper process must now be followed”.

The question of Pivac’s future was not mentioned in the statement, with no details about who will conduct the inquest, which is described as a “pre-planned and regular post-tournament review”.

There is no timeline put on the review with Wales hosting Ireland in the Six Nations opener on 4 February.

Any decision to change the coach now and bring in somebody new would result in a significant cost for the WRU at a time when it is negotiating a new deal with the four professional regions.

“With no disrespect to Georgia, who are a growing force in the world game, this result was extremely disappointing,” said Phillips of the defeat in Cardiff a fortnight ago, Wales’ first to the Georgians.

Wales looked as though they would respond by beating Australia in their final autumn game on Saturday when they opened up a 21-point lead, only to let that slip as they subsided to a 34-39 defeat.

“We were anticipating a significant improvement against Australia and there was an obvious positive reaction but, again, we are of course disappointed not to have won that game,” Phillips added.

“We will now review the Autumn Nation Series campaign in its entirety and in detail, as we always do.

“Upon conclusion of this review we will, of course, act on the outcome as we continue to work towards, the now short-term goal of, success at the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the more immediate 2023 Six Nations competition, but also sustainable longer term success.”

Wales captain Justin Tipuric leaves the field after defeat against Australia
Wales captain Justin Tipuric leaves the field after defeat against Australia

Poor performances

Wales finished 2022 in ninth place in the world rankings after suffering three defeats in November, starting with a 55-23 eight-try hammering by New Zealand.

That humiliating and historic loss to Georgia and capitulation to Australia followed with the sole success a 20-13 over Argentina.

The record in 2022 was three wins and nine defeats, with Pivac’s overall Wales international tenure standing at 13 wins, 20 defeats and a draw.

Pivac says he wants to carry on in the role and will honour his contract until the end of the World Cup unless he is told otherwise.

The New Zealander says he was travelling to France on Sunday to look at venues for the global tournament next year, where Wales will again face Australia and Georgia, plus Fiji – so often their World Cup nemesis – and Portugal.

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