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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 06:23 GMT 07:23 UK
Player power cost Jenkins - Evans
Former Wales coach Gareth Jenkins
Evans says that Wales' problems go way beyond the national coach
Ex-captain Ieuan Evans says headstrong players and Welsh Rugby Union weakness contributed to Wales' World Cup exit and coach Gareth Jenkins' downfall.

"Jenkins made mistakes and allowed discipline to slip in the squad," Evans told BBC Wales' Scrum V rugby show.

"But there's no way Jenkins would have coached Wales to play the way they did in the first half against Fiji.

"There's a culture of complacency, the players having an undue influence, the new coach must address the problems."

Jenkins' appointment was a populist one, and you have to see the timing of his dismissal in the same light

Ieuan Evans

Commenting on Wales' wild first half that saw them concede a 22-point deficit to Fiji, Evans added: "It couldn't be naivety with that number of caps.

"It could be misplaced arrogance, or the other excuse is a lack of the intelligence needed to manage a game."

Another former Wales captain, Jonathan Davies, said that it is too early to throw in the names of potential successors to Jenkins and that "no Welsh coach will want the job" having seen the Union fail to back previous incumbents.

"The last two Welsh coaches haven't been able to bring in all their own back-room staff," said Davies.

"It's a big leap up from club level and Jenkins made mistakes, but I don't understand [WRU group chief executive] Roger Lewis saying that coaches need longer spells in the national job - if that's the case, why has he just got rid of Jenkins?"

Everything in Welsh rugby needs to be looked at, from top to bottom, people in positions are scared of change

Ex-Wales captain Jonathan Davies

Evans supported Davies' view and questioned the timing of Jenkins' dismissal.

"I thought that the Union would allow him the dignity of returning home from France before making the announcement," said Evans.

"Jenkins' appointment was a populist one, and you have to see the timing of his dismissal in the same light."

Davies says that the entire structure of Welsh rugby now needs to be reviewed.

"We need a professional board to run the game, not an amateur executive," the former outside-half told Scrum V.

"Everything in Welsh rugby needs to be looked at, from top to bottom, people in positions are scared of change.

"The WRU needs to accept the problems and allow the new elite performance director to make a clean sweep.

Sean Davies

"Why Kevin Bowring hasn't yet got the job of elite director I don't know - maybe the demands he is making are too much."

Davies' plan for reform starts at the top, but proposes major changes through to the grassroots of the game.

"We should look at [England's] Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby," said Davies.

"The Welsh coach has got to be on the professional board, the elite performance director, two representatives from each region - maybe the coach and chief executive - and the Union's chairman and chief executive.

"They should be able to cover everything that Welsh rugby needs to look at, currently there's a soft, coddling culture in our game that needs to be toughened up.

"The academies are doing some things well, but they need to go up a level, develop specialist skills and the game awareness that was missing from the national team against Fiji.

"The southern hemisphere are streets ahead in terms of reading matches and decision making, that has to be coached through the academies.

"Then you need to consider the semi-professional level, where the Welsh Premiership is not doing the job it was designed to do and is not bringing players through.

If the Union get it right we could do something special in the 2011 World Cup

Gavin Henson

"Then there's the amateur and district levels. The Union, in its wisdom, took power away from the schools and gave it to the clubs.

"I think you have to go back to the schools - everyone goes to school, some deprived kids don't get the chance to go to clubs."

Davies' calls for a wider look at the problems in the game were echoed by Ospreys coach Lyn Jones.

"It's not just to do with the coach or players, we have to look at ourselves and our systems and think about the Union as an entity," Jones told BBC Sport Wales.

"We should look to structure our game more positively, especially at the professional level, there's so much more we can do."

Ospreys centre Gavin Henson says making the right choice of coach will be crucial to the future of Welsh rugby.

"It's so important because the youngsters coming through now are unbelievable," said Henson after the 37-23 win over Glasgow, his first start in eight months.

"The Union have to make the right decision for the long term, and if they get it right we could do something special in the 2011 World Cup.

"That's all I hope for," added Henson, 25, who missed out on selection for the 2003 and 2007 tournaments.

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