Former Wales U18 coach Rowland Phillips named Wales Women head coach


Last Updated: 18/07/16 2:36pm

Rowland Phillips honoured to be named new Wales Women head coach

Former Neath, Aironi, London Welsh and Wales U18 head coach Rowland Phillips has been appointed full time Wales Women head coach.

The former dual code international, who has also been defence coach for the Ospreys and Wales, will take up the reins with immediate effect to help build the coaching team to lead Wales into the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland next year.

Phillips, who won the British & Irish Cup with London Welsh last season and four Principality Premiership and two cup titles with Neath, told the WRU official website: "I'm really excited by the very real challenge in front of us for women's rugby in Wales.

"Taking charge of an international side is a great honour but the most pleasing aspect of this role is that we have an abundance of talent in the women's game in Wales, which has excited me since I started watching the club, regional and international game here four or five seasons ago.

"There's a huge increase in interest in women and girls rugby in Wales, and globally at the moment from international rugby to the community game, and I'm looking forward to being part of that and helping players to fulfil their potential on the field."

Rowland Phillips' interest in women's game sparked by his daughter's participation

Phillips credits his daughter, 26-times capped Carys, for developing his initial passion for the women's game.

He said: "Carys' involvement has enabled me to keep a closer eye on women's rugby over a number of years. I've obviously watched her play from a young age as any parent would, but more recently I've watched a lot of club, regional and international rugby which has opened my eyes to the talent available and I'm excited by what I see."

Rowland Phillips to lead Wales into next year's Women's Rugby World Cup

WRU national women's manager Caroline Spanton said: "Rowland's appointment as full-time head coach reflects the increased profile and investment the Welsh Rugby Union is committing to the international women's game.

"The standard is rising at a pace in the women's game, and I expect Rowland to bring professionalism from his success in the men's game to the role in order to help us step up a gear ahead of the Women's Rugby World Cup next year."

WRU Head of Rugby Performance Geraint John said: "We are thrilled to appoint Rowland from a number of high calibre individuals who applied for the post.

"The interest shows that the women's head coach role is now a sought after position in its own right and we are committed to supporting the further development of the international women's game."