Wales get a new coach
Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:37
Gareth Williams has been confirmed as the full-time head coach of the Wales Sevens squad.
Williams took over the reins in an 'interim' capacity after Paul John stepped down to take up a coaching role with Cardiff Blues last December.
Williams' confirmation is yet another example for successful progression within the elite structure of the Welsh Rugby Union for its players and coaching staff.
The WRU will be making a number of incremental changes to its Sevens developmental pathway programme over the coming months as it bids to become a major contender regularly on the IRB World Series as well as maintain its proud tradition of player development.
Alex Cuthbert, Justin Tipuric and Cory Allen are just some of the individuals who have come through the Sevens structure to gain full international honours over recent years.
Now the WRU is also looking to improve its overall tournament standings on the world stage as Wales look to become a major and constant threat on the international circuit.
Williams, who had a successful Sevens playing career before joining the coaching ranks six years ago, is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead for him and his team.
"Getting the job permanently has been an ambition of mine and I'm thankful for the Welsh Rugby Union in supporting me in that now," he said.
"It's an honour to get the opportunity to carry the Sevens programme forward into the final two rounds of the season, before looking ahead to next season's IRB World Series," he said.
During his tenure as 'interim' head coach Williams has been bedevilled with injuries to key players but he is encouraged from the two most recent tournaments in Tokyo and Hong Kong, where his side reached the Plate final before bowing out to South Africa – currently second in the overall standings.
"The boys were superb in Hong Kong – we had earlier showed signs of improvement in Tokyo. We've got a well-documented injury list which is getting better at the moment – but the boys put their hands up in the Plate final in Hong Kong and hopefully we can now continue that improvement.
"You could view it that it was one that got away and it would have been brilliant to finish fifth overall in the tournament but we aren't going to dwell on it. We'll take the positives and build on that in Glasgow this weekend.
"We've got a number of sides within our sights for the overall series standings and two of those – Argentina and Kenya – are in our group. Glasgow gives us a good opportunity to finish as high as we can in the overall standings."
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