WRU hold talks with Scarlets' Wayne Pivac about succeeding Warren Gatland as Wales boss
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 03/04/18 3:32pm
Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac has confirmed he has held informal talks with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) about succeeding Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Gatland's contract expires following the World Cup in 2019 and chairman Gareth Davies confirmed in October of last year that the WRU have already begun the process of identifying his successor.
After leading Scarlets to the PRO12 title last season and into the semi-finals of the Champions Cup this campaign, Pivac is a natural frontrunner.
The 55-year-old New Zealand native confirmed tentative discussions have already taken place but was keen to stress the talks were "nothing major at all".
"It was nothing formal... just discussions around my contract here (at Scarlets)," he said of the conversation.
"As you'd expect, I'm sure most coaches at the highest level in Wales would have had conversations.
"But there has not been a formal interview."
Pivac, who succeeded Simon Easterby as Scarlets boss in 2014, signed a two-year contract extension in October, which takes him up to the end of the 2019/20 season.
His coaching team of Stephen Jones, Byron Hayward and Ioan Cunningham are also contracted to Scarlets until May 2020.
Meanwhile, Wales second row Jake Ball is facing a race against time to be fit for Scarlets' Champions Cup semi-final clash with Leinster on the weekend of April 21-22 in Dublin.
Ball, who has been capped 28 caps by Wales, has not played since dislocating his shoulder against the All Blacks in November.
"Jake has had a week off from his rehab, he has been going really hard, he is in fantastic shape," said Pivac.
"The surgery side of things has gone well. It has plateaued a little bit, hence the delay, but he is being checked again this week with the WRU staff as well as our staff as a national dual contracted player. He is going through more testing.
"He has weakened one area of the shoulder and we need to get that up to a certain strength level before he is safe to return to play. Hopefully that is sooner rather than later but we haven't been given a finishing line on that one.
"Jake is targeting the semi and we would love him to be there, but he has got to be cleared medically before we will entertain that."
Pivac also confirmed Australian utility Paul Asquith is set for a spell on the sidelines after limping off with a hamstring injury 15 minutes into Scarlets' 29-17 victory over La Rochelle on Friday night.
"He has ruptured it according to our physios so he could be out for some time," said Pivac.