The Welsh Rugby Union have announced that Wayne Pivac will become the Wales head coach after Warren Gatland steps down following the 2019 World Cup, according to a report on the Evening Standard.

Pivac has always been in pole position to succeed Gatland and WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips is delighted with the appointment.

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Phillips believes that the early announcement will only help the team rather than waiting until after Gatland left to announce the news.

He said:

We have secured the best man for the job and we have done so rigorously and decisively. There is no underestimating the positive benefit to be gained from having the time to plan properly for the future.

We have avoided the feeding frenzy that can come at the end of a RWC year and we have been meticulous in ensuring we have someone of the talent, experience, charisma and rugby acumen to do the very best possible job for Welsh rugby. The handover process is something we will plan carefully and commence in detail next summer.

Scarlets boss Pivac won the Pro12 title in 2017 and also has international coaching experience as he was the Fiji manager from 2004 to 2007.

Gatland is happy to be passing the job on to Pivac and when speaking about his successor, he said:

I’m determined to ensure that Wayne is given the best possible opportunity to succeed in this job when he starts after the World Cup and I will do everything I can to help him.

Gatland will take charge of his third world cup as Wales’ boss and has led them to three Six Nations titles during his 12 years in charge.