Sam Warburton says Wayne Pivac has proved his credentials as a candidate for international management ahead of Warren Gatland’s Wales departure
Gatland will end his Wales tenure, which began 11 years ago, after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with Scarlets boss Pivac considered a leading contender to replace him.
Pivac led Scarlets to the Pro12 title in 2017, but they were beaten in this year’s final by Leinster, who also eliminated the Welsh region from the European Champions Cup semi-finals.
Warburton has been impressed by the New Zealander’s work and would not be surprised to see him on the international stage soon.
“He’s got them playing a very similar style to Wales, a nice expansive game of rugby and he’s done very, very well for Scarlets. And not just for one season, he’s backed it up again for a few seasons now,” Warburton told Omnisport, speaking on behalf of Land Rover.
“It shows it hasn’t been a flash in the pan and something has definitely changed at the Scarlets.
“They’ve probably been recognised as the best Welsh region for quite a while now, which they weren’t going back before Wayne Pivac.
“It’s going to be one of those games, from first whistle to last, where we have to be at our best.” Wayne Pivac.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 21, 2018
“He’s definitely established Scarlets now and they’ve achieved the most out of the Welsh regions in the past few years and they’ve done it consistently.
“They’ve gone to Ireland and been successful which has always been so tough for the regions. It’s so tough, we’ve seen that on the European stage, and they’ve managed to do that on a few occasions over the years.
“He’s definitely showed his credentials to be a candidate for an international coach.”
Gatland has overseen three Six Nations triumphs and two British and Irish Lions tours, winning in Australia before last year’s draw in New Zealand.
Warburton said of the coach: “He’s been absolutely massive for Wales. He’s taken Wales from perhaps being [a team] who didn’t really achieve a whole lot for perhaps a 15-, 20-year period and taken Wales into what has been one of their more successful eras really in a long time.
“He’ll be missed. When you look at his reputation when he came to Wales and when he’ll leave, it’ll be hugely enhanced and [he’s] deservedly going to be recognised as probably one of the most successful international coaches that Wales has ever had and international coaches of his era as well.”
Sam Warburton is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover has a heritage in rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite. Follow @LandRoverRugby
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta