Former skipper Warburton joins Wales coaching staff

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After captaining his country with distinction, Sam Warburton has been appointed as a technical advisor by the Welsh Rugby Union.
After captaining his country with distinction, Sam Warburton has been appointed as a technical advisor by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Former Wales captain Sam Warburton has been added to his national side's coaching team by new head coach Wayne Pivac.

Warburton, who announced his injury-enforced retirement at the age of 29 last July, will serve as a technical advisor for the breakdown and defence on a campaign-to-campaign basis.

His appointment was confirmed on Friday, along with that of Byron Hayward, who will return to the WRU as defence coach.

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"I'm delighted to be part of the senior national coaching team," said Warburton, who also skippered the British and Irish Lions during his illustrious playing career, in a WRU statement.

"It is a genuine privilege to be considered for such a role and I can't wait to do my upmost [sic] to contribute to help improve the team and players. With such a great group of players and management it is an amazing opportunity which I am very proud to be given."

Pivac has succeeded Warren Gatland following the New Zealander's 12-year stint as head coach and now has five former Wales internationals in his backroom team, with Warburton and Hayward joining Stephen Jones, Jonathan Humphreys and Neil Jenkins.

"I'm delighted to bring both Byron and Sam into the set-up and add to what is already a vastly experienced coaching team," said Pivac.

"Sam is one of the most experienced leaders in rugby with excellent knowledge and communication skills and having only recently retired he has a full grasp on the international game.

"We looked at the coaching structure and the roles of each coach and believed adding a second defensive role into the team adds value, adds a point of difference and allows a specialist to work in the contact area. I believe Byron and Sam will complement each other in the roles."

Wales' first game under Pivac is on November 30, when they will take on a Barbarians side coached by Gatland in Cardiff.

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