05/04/02.New Zealander Steve Hansen was today appointed full-time coach to the Welsh national team and he will take them through to the World Cup and beyond.
The New Zealander today became the 14th national coach to take charge of the Wales squad after holding a temporary position since the resignation of Graham Henry following the record defeat by Ireland in February eight-weeks ago.
Director of Rugby Terry Cobner said: “The Directorate has just completed an appraisal of the management teams of the Wales, Wales A and Wales U21 teams. As a result, the Directorate proposed to last night’s General Committee meeting that Steve Hansen be retained as coach to the Wales XV until the end of the 2003-2004 season.”
” The Directorate has every confidence in Steve as a coach and hopes that by continuing his role at the WRU, the continuity and stability that is needed in the run up to the Rugby World Cup and beyond will be provided.”
Hansen must plan for the immediate future and the World Cup without Lions and Wales scrum-half Robert Howley who is retiring from international rugby after Wales’s Six Nations clash with Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Howley, 31, said that continued knee problems, and family commmittments contributed to his decision to call time on an international Test career that has seen him amass 58 caps, captain his country during the 1999 Rugby World Cup and tour with the Lions in 1997 and 2001