Byron Hayward leaves Wales defence coach role ahead of Autumn Nations Cup

Wales will operate without a defence coach for the Autumn Nations Cup after Byron Hayward left his role with immediate effect.

Hayward joined Wayne Pivac’s coaching team in November 2019, succeeding Shaun Edwards as defence coach, but he departed “by mutual agreement” just five days before Wales’ game against Ireland in Dublin.

Wales finished fifth in this year’s Six Nations, conceding 11 tries, and are on a five-game losing run.

“On reflection of the last campaign it was mutually decided that the best way forward for Wales and for Byron is for him to step down from his role,” said Wales head coach Pivac.

“I, on behalf of the squad and management, would like to wish Byron all the best for the future.

“In the short-term, for the upcoming four matches, the existing coaching team will manage the defence based on the foundations already put in place.

“We will then look to replace Byron on a full-time basis with an announcement in due course.”

Hayward, a former Wales U20s coach who also worked with Pivac at the Scarlets, added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Wales and it was an honour to coach my country.

“As I have always said from day one, the team comes first and upon reflection of the last campaign with Wayne we felt it was best for me to step aside.

“When I took the role last year I wouldn’t have planned to be leaving as the squad prepare to start the new international season, I believe it is the right decision for myself and the squad as they enter a new campaign.

“I would like to wish Wayne and the squad all the best going forward and I will be fully supporting them.”

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