Paul Gustard in contention for Wales defence coach role

Former England defence coach Paul Gustard could be in line for a key job with Wales.

Wales boss Warren Gatland has a defence coach vacancy following Gethin Jenkins’ departure from the role.

And the PA news agency understands that 46-year-old Gustard is a leading contender to fill it.

Wales target Paul Gustard
Paul Gustard was appointed as England defence coach in 2015 (Paul Harding/PA)

Gustard was appointed by Eddie Jones as England defence coach in 2015, before he became head of rugby at Harlequins three years later.

He left that position in 2021 and took up a coaching post with Italian United Rugby Championship club Benetton.

Gatland, who was last month appointed for a second stint as Wales head coach, is currently finalising his support staff ahead of the Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland
Wales boss Warren Gatland is finalising his coaching team ahead of the Six Nations (Ben Birchall/PA)

Jonathan Humphreys and Neil Jenkins, who were both part of his predecessor Wayne Pivac’s team, have been retained.

But Gethin Jenkins and attack specialist Stephen Jones left at the end of a year in which Wales won just three Tests and suffered home defeats against Italy and Georgia.

Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Cardiff on February 4.