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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 11:44 GMT
Gatland backed by Wales legends
Warren Gatland
Gatland's appointment has been generally welcomed in Wales
Graham Price has led the positive response to the news that Warren Gatland is the next Wales coach.

"Gatland's a hard-nosed New Zealander who won't take any messing," said the ex-Pontypool, Wales and Lions prop.

"He's got the track record with Wasps, Ireland and Waikato, so I'm in favour of his appointment.

"I just hope that he's allowed to put his own back-room staff in place. It's his neck on the block so he needs to have everything in place he wants."

606: DEBATE
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Former Cardiff, Wales and Lions scrum-half Terry Holmes backed Price's suggestion that Gatland's tough reputation would be good for the national team.

"He's a typical Kiwi, it'll be his way or the highway," Holmes told BBC Radio Wales. "Player power may now be a thing of the past.

"We need to give him 100% support and hope he can take us forward after the disapointment of the World Cup."

But former Wales coach Alan Davies is not convinced that Gatland can make a big difference to Welsh rugby.

I'm not sure that as much thought has gone into this appointment as I would like

Ex-Wales coach Alan Davies

"Gatland has the pedigree, especially with Wasps, but there are a number of coaches capable of leading Wales," said Davies, who took the national team to the 1994 Five Nations title.

"The structure they are coming into is the problem. I was told I had a free hand before I took the job, but afterwards I was told to concentrate on the team alone and not worry about the wider picture - I'm not sure that situation has changed.

"[Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive] Roger Lewis said they would go to the ends of the earth to find the right man, that they would take their time, and that they wanted an appointment as soon as possible!

"I'm not sure that as much thought has gone into this appointment as I would like."

Former Cardiff and Wales wing Adrian Hadley was also confused by the timing of the Gatland deal.

"I'm mystified as to how he can be appointed before the Elite Performance Director, who will be Gatland's boss," said Hadley.

"His record speaks for itself, but we've had to pay a premium for another foreign coach.

"It will be interesting to see if he is able to bring in the back-room staff he wants - and how much that will cost."

SEE ALSO
The tests facing Gatland
09 Nov 07 |  Welsh
Corny Captions - Gatland arrives
09 Nov 07 |  Scrum V Extras
Wales' rugby coaches
29 Mar 06 |  Welsh


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