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New Wales manager Kel Coslett
"I'm honoured and delighted to manage the Welsh side."
 real 14k

Monday, 14 May, 2001, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Kelly appointed Wales coach
Iestyn Harris in action for Wales during last year's world cup
Kelly inherits a side inspired by Iestyn Harris
Neil Kelly, who was assistant coach during Wales' world cup campaign last year, has been confirmed as the successor to Clive Griffiths.

Griffiths turned down the chance to work alongside Kelly, saying he did not believe joint coaches worked.

Griffiths is also hotly tipped to become defensive coach for the Wales rugby union side.

His work at Swansea has seen him selected as one of the backroom staff for Wales' tour to Japan next month.

Kelly will take charge of Wales on his own for the first time on July 31 when the Dragons play England at Wrexham.

In the 10 years I've been involved, the only thing we've not reached is the World Cup final
  Clive Griffiths
Mike Nicholas, the former Warrington and Wales forward who worked alongside Griffiths as manager for the last 10 years, has also been offered a new role.

He becomes media and marketing consultant, with former St Helens international Kel Coslett succeeding Nicholas as team manager.

Greg McCallum, the Rugby Football League's director of rugby, said: "Following the World Cup we felt it was important to building a succession plan for the Welsh side.

"We did ask Clive Griffiths to continue in post alongside Neil Kelly but his professional commitments have prevented him from joining us on this occasion."

Epic semi-final

McCallum also hailed Nicholas' influence in Welsh media and business circles.

Under Griffiths, Wales won the European Championship in 1975 for the first time for 57 years and went on to reach the last four of the World Cup.

They repeated that feat last November, when they went down 46-22 to the eventual winners Australia after leading 20-14 at half-time.

"In the 10 years I've been involved, the only thing we've not reached is the World Cup final," said Griffiths.

"Perhaps it was fitting that I should finish with that epic semi-final against Australia."

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See also:

09 May 01 |  Welsh-Scottish Rugby
Griffiths cuts league ties
02 May 01 |  Wales
Wales look to future
23 Mar 01 |  Rugby League
Kelly becomes a Viking
14 May 01 |  Rugby League
Wigan sack Endacott
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