Joe Lydon will oversee Welsh rugby below national squad level
Joe Lydon has been appointed as the Welsh Rugby Union's new Head of Rugby Performance and Development.
The ex-Great Britain rugby league star will take charge of all aspects of Welsh rugby outside the national squad.
Lydon was England's rugby union backs coach from 2004 to 2006, but has been working back in league with Wigan.
"I look forward to drawing on my experiences gained from being involved in professional rugby of both codes over the last 25 years," Lydon said.
"Just as it is in my hometown of Wigan, rugby in Wales is much more than a sport, it's a way of life.
"The new role will enable me to draw on that passion, the unique sporting history and pedigree of rugby in Wales.
"A lot of hard work is already taking place and I will be making sure that continues within a clear strategy and focus."
The 44-year-old is a former team-mate of Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards during their time at Wigan together.
The appointment of Lydon in this new role is the end of the WRU's two-year search, and follows a shakeup in the coaching and development hierarchy.
Lydon has experience as the Rugby Football League's first technical director, taking up the post in 1997, but switched codes to take up a rugby union coaching role in 2000 with the England Under-19s.
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: "I promised we would secure someone special for this vital role and I am delighted to be able to announce that we have achieved that aim in appointing Joe Lydon.
"The Head of Rugby role is a key appointment in our senior management team and heads a structure which controls and develops all aspects of the game in Wales.
"Joe's rugby and business CV speaks for itself and when I met him I was impressed by his knowledge of Welsh rugby and his clear strategic thinking on the way forward for Wales."