Wales: Wayne Pivac forced to field questions about his future ahead of Wallabies clash

Adam Kyriacou
Wayne Pivac Wales head coach Six Nations 2022 - PA.jpg

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac was forced to field questions about his future ahead of his side’s Autumn Nations Series game against Australia.

The New Zealander is under pressure after Wales went down to a 13-12 defeat to Georgia just eight months after they lost at home to Italy in the Six Nations.

This year’s record is only part of the problem for some of Pivac‘s doubters though, with Wales‘ record of 19 Test defeats in 33 since his arrival hard to ignore.

A head coach under pressure

But with just 10 months left until the Rugby World Cup in France, the big question is whether the Welsh Rugby Union would opt to change the coach at this stage.

“Other people make those decisions,” Pivac said on the day he named his team for Saturday. “What we do internally is make sure we prepare the best we can.

“I can’t get sidetracked by those sort of things. At the end of the day, it is the professional environment we are in.

“We know there is a lot at stake, clearly. We are here rolling our sleeves up this week to try and get the result everyone wants.”

Asked if he had spoken with his WRU bosses, Pivac added: “Just the usual. We have weekly contact in every camp, and this week has been no different.

“It’s just the standard, focusing on the here and now. We review campaigns at the end of the campaign, not during.

“So it is just standard things discussing what we are doing this week and how we can improve the performance – normal conversations we would have.

“It is very, very disappointing to be in this position. As head coach, the responsibility lies with me for a lot of the decision-making. I don’t shy away from that.

“What we do is look at what we can control. That has been every day we come in this week, maximising how we get the team right mentally and physically.

“That has certainly been the focus of everyone this week. Players have been very honest in reviews and gone out and been physical in training.”

As mentioned, Pivac announced his team to face Australia this week, with Ospreys centre Joe Hawkins set to make his debut after an injury to Owen Watkin.

Elsewhere, there are starts for Alun Wyn Jones, Leigh Halfpenny, Rio Dyer and Taulupe Faletau, who will run out for his 100th Test appearance.

Hurting after last week’s loss

Pivac added: “The whole squad is extremely disappointed with last week’s performance.

“It is not the result that anybody wanted, it is not the result that anyone expected.

“We have gone through a review process. We know what went wrong and what is required to get the result this weekend.

“Certainly, it is a side we’ve selected to get a result, which we are desperately seeking.

“We are playing an Australian side that will have a lot of changes for probably similar reasons to ourselves over the last month or so with injuries, but what we do know about Australia is that they are a dangerous side whatever team they put out.”

READ MORE: Wales: Taulupe Faletau set for 100th Test appearance while Alun Wyn Jones and Leigh Halfpenny return to the XV