2003 World Cup-winner Josh Lewsey appointed head of Wales rugby
World Cup-winning former England full-back Josh Lewsey has been appointed as Wales' head of rugby.
Last Updated: 30/08/13 3:26pm
Lewsey, 36, who retired from playing in 2009, has been put in charge of the operational and strategic management of the whole of the game in Wales from community to elite level outside the senior international squad.
"I'm delighted to have been offered this opportunity to play a pivotal role in ensuring the strength and well-being of the national sport of Wales," Lewsey said.
"Everyone involved in rugby knows how passionate the whole of Wales is about the sport so I'm fully aware of the huge responsibility I'm accepting.
"This is a challenge and an opportunity I'll approach with total commitment and I promise everyone in Wales I'll give my all to the task ahead.
"A key driver for me is to balance the focus between the elite and community games in a way that establishes a long-term sustainable platform for rugby in Wales."
Lewsey won 55 caps for England, and was the full-back in Sir Clive Woodward's team which won the 2003 World Cup in Australia.
He enjoyed a fine club career with Wasps and could have played for Wales instead of England - his mother is Welsh.
Wales RFU Roger Lewis said: "We are delighted to have been able to secure someone of the calibre of Josh as our new Head of Rugby.
"He is passionate about the game and undoubtedly has the experience and determination to make a huge and positive difference for Welsh rugby.
"We carried out a thorough search of the available candidates and Josh won through from an extremely strong group of final candidates.
"He joins us at a time when the international game in Wales is extremely successful and he knows we are determined to cascade that strength throughout the whole of Welsh rugby.
"Josh is particularly committed to making a significant difference within grassroots rugby across Wales, both within clubs and schools.
"He has experience driving initiatives within the community game which will be a clear advantage in his new role.
"Our goal is to continue to build and develop the strength of the elite game and focus hard on making Welsh rugby a sport everyone wants to participate in either as a player, official, volunteer or fan at all levels."