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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 06:38 GMT 07:38 UK
WRU chief backs Davies selection
Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive Roger Lewis
WRU chief Lewis says Nigel Davies gives Wales some continuity
Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive Roger Lewis has defended the decision to make Nigel Davies caretaker coach.

Davies will take charge of Wales for the 24 November Test with South Africa.

Lewis told BBC Radio Wales' Scrum V: "It's making sure we deliver a team for that match, so it made sense to have someone who knows the players."

But Lewis says that Davies and now sacked Gareth Jenkins' other back-room coaching staff could be out of a job when a permanent coach is named.

That will also leave Neil Jenkins, Rowland Phillips and Robin McBryde sweating on their long-term future.

"They will get us to the 24th (of November) and they will give us a committed approach to that match," Lewis said.

(Wales team manager) Alan Phillips is seen by many people as an integral part

WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis

"They know what the position is, they know they are there until we get a new coach in place.

"But that will allow them to make sure they can make a case to the new coach (to be kept on)."

The likelihood is that a new coach would want to bring in his own assistants, which Lewis confirmed would be the new coach's prerogative.

However, Lewis made it clear that the WRU is keen for team manager Alan Phillips - who has no direct influence on the player coaching - to stay in his post.

"There was a good dynamic between Alan and (former Wales coaches) Steve Hansen and Scott Johnson," Lewis added.

"He is seen by many people - and I know certain players see him - as an integral part of some of the tough things that have been done.

"I don't see that the position is under threat but everyone within that coaching structure needs to be reviewed."


Wales are scouring the world for a replacement, with former Ireland and Wasps coach Warren Gatland the first to publicly express an interest.

Former Scotland and Lions coach Ian McGeechan is another of the leading names who could be on the WRU short-list.

But of the home-grown candidates, Newport Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner and former Wales coaches Mike Ruddock and Kevin Bowring have ruled themselves out.

Lewis said the new post of Elite Performance Director is expected to be filled "within the week", with the successful candidate tasked with helping oversee the improvement of the way rugby is structured in Wales.

The WRU boss said the appointment would be someone who is immersed in the game, which seems likely to rule out former Great Britain swimming coach Bill Sweetenham who had been linked with the role.

  • Scrum V on the Radio has a regular slot throughout the season on Thursday on BBC Radio Wales at 1900 BST.

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