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The reasons why the appointment of Wayne Pivac could usher in a new era of Welsh rugby success

The appointment of Wayne Pivac as head coach of Wales following Rugby World Cup 2019 could herald the start of something special for the national side.

The future is bright, the future is scarlet for Wales with the New Zealander confirmed as Warren Gatland’s replacement on Monday.

Former policeman Pivac will leave the Scarlets next year to take up his position as Wales head honcho, with Stephen Jones widely expected to follow his boss into the setup.

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While some fans called for the likes of Dave Rennie or Dai Young to be given a shot, it is the ex-North Harbour supremo who will take the reins.

Here we look at the reasons why the move could spell success for the men in red.

Stunning Scarlets

The West Wales region swooped for Pivac in July 2014, with the former Auckland boss initially hired as a forwards coach before stepping into the main hot seat after the departure of Simon Easterby just a month later.

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And there can be little doubt that his reign has been a success – a Pro12 title in 2016/17, combined with appearances in the Pro14 final and European Champions Cup semi-final last season, represents an excellent return.

The expansive attacking game adopted by the Scarlets has also won Pivac admirers among rugby purists.

The 55-year-old has brought the best out of the likes of Aaron Shingler, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Patchell to light up the Welsh regional scene.

Familiar Faces

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When the Kiwi steps into the role of Wales supremo after the Japanese adventure next year, he will be at a distinct advantage.

He knows these men.

10 of the 15 Welsh starters in the crushing 34-7 victory over Scotland in February were Scarlets; two more from the Llanelli-based region came off the bench.

With the vast majority of the rest of the squad being made up of players from other Welsh regions, and thus subject to Scarlets scouting prior to Pro14 matches, Pivac will surely also have considerable knowledge of Wales’ capabilities.

International Experience

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The New Zealander is no stranger to managing the fortunes of a national side.

In 2004, after winning the 2003 New Zealand Rugby Union Coach of the Year award, Pivac was hired by Fiji.

He led the South Sea Islanders to Pacific Tri-Nations success in his first year and secured silverware again the following season when he delivered the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

An understanding of the logistics and holistic planning involved in international fixtures may prove vital.

Popular Support

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While incumbent Gatland has brought Six Nations titles and performed above expectations in World Cups, he is not without his critics.

Some fans have taken aim at his reluctance to drop perceived favoured players for rising stars while others believe the direct ‘Warrenball’ style of play to be outdated.

His handling of the media can draw negative press as he can appear uncompromising at times and his record against the ‘big three’ southern hemisphere sides is appalling – five wins in 39 matches makes uncomfortable reading.

Pivac is a popular character in the regional scene and another successful season with the Scarlets would see him take the Welsh reins with the backing of supporters – this could provide vital leverage in the event of a poor start on the pitch.