Former Wales boss Pivac joins Japan's Green Rockets

rugby25 August 2023 08:19| © AFP
Wayne Pivac © Getty Images

Former Wales head coach Wayne Pivac will lead Japanese second-division side NEC Green Rockets next season, the club said on Friday.

Pivac was fired by Wales in December last year following a poor run of results and replaced by Warren Gatland, who returned for a second spell in charge.

Pivac will be assisted in Japan by fellow New Zealander Paul Feeney, who last worked for the Chiefs in his home country.

The 60-year-old Pivac said it was "a great honour and a privilege" to be joining NEC, who were relegated from Japan's top flight last season.

"Our slogan, 'always above', embodies everything we will be about throughout the 2023/24 season as we rebuild to better and stronger than we have been in past seasons," he said in a statement released by the club.

"We will be striving to return to the top division of Japanese rugby.

"Along the way, we want to give our supporters plenty to cheer about with an exciting brand of rugby."

Pivac's exit as Wales head coach was confirmed following a Welsh Rugby Union review of the team's Autumn Nations Series campaign that included a shock home loss to Georgia.

Wales won just 13 of 34 tests under Pivac – though he guided them to the 2021 Six Nations title – after he succeeded Gatland following the 2019 World Cup.