WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis today announced that Dai Rees, Patrick Horgan and Simon King will head-up Wales’ new-look elite development coaching structure.
Dragons assistant coach Dai Rees has been re-appointed Wales Sevens head coach and is hoping to take Wales to all eight of the IRB’s Sevens Series tournaments for the first time, following an application by the WRU to become a core member of the IRB Sevens Series.
Patrick Horgan has been promoted from Wales Under 19 assistant coach to lead the Wales Under 20 coaching team for the first official Under 20 Six Nations Championships and the inaugural World Junior Championships at Under 20 level.
Simon King retains his role as Under 18 head coach and will take his squad to Ireland at Easter for the second Six Nations festival in that age group after a successful tournament for Wales in Glasgow last year.
This change follows last season’s decision by the WRU to move from Under 21 to Under 20 rugby internationally, a shift which has now been adopted at IRB level with the introduction of a World Junior Championships and Junior World Trophy in that age group, replacing both the Under 21 and Under 19 World Championships.
Roger Lewis said, “We showed last season that we are not afraid to be bold when it comes to making the right decisions for the benefit of Welsh rugby and the development of our future professional and international players.”
Patrick Horgan follows up his recent appointment as head coach of Ebbw Vale RFC with a first head coaching role of an international age grade side. WRU skills coach Wayne Jones continues as Under 20 assistant coach and he will be joined by fellow WRU skills coach and former Wales flanker Rob Appleyard. The side will be managed by former Wales Youth coach Bob Beale.
The Wales Under 18 set-up also remains unchanged with Gethin Watts and Nicky Lloyd assisting Simon King in the coaching team and Terry Cobner continuing as team manager.
WRU elite coach development manager Leighton Morgan said, “We are thrilled with the calibre of Welsh coaches now available to us when selecting individuals to nurture and develop our elite young players at international level.”
Wales Sevens and Age grade management teams
Manager – Col David Jenkins
Head Coach – Dai Rees
Assistant coach – Gareth Baber
Wales Under 20
Manager – Bob Beale
Head Coach – Patrick Horgan
Assistant Coaches – Wayne Jones and Rob Appleyard
Wales Under 18
Manager – Terry Cobner
Head Coach – Simon King
Assistant Coaches – Gethin Watts and Nicky Lloyd