Welsh Rugby
Lewis to lead WRU National Academy
ESPNscrum Staff
December 21, 2011
Allan Lewis in the days when he was in charge of Gloucester's academy © Getty Images
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The Welsh Rugby Union has appointed Allan Lewis as their National Academy coaching manager in what is set to be a raft of new appointments in the rugby body.

Lewis - who worked as Graham Henry's backs coach when the World Cup-winning coach was in charge of Wales - has experience at both club and regional level in Wales. He has held the helm at Newport, coached the Celtic Warriors and took the top post at Llanelli along with coaching Moseley. Lewis will now oversee the WRU age grade programmes and implement coaching structures with a view to heralding in the next generation of Welsh talent.

Another part of Lewis' remit will be to liaise with national and regional coaches with a view to bringing in performances programmes across the board throughout Wales. The national side performed well during the 2011 World Cup with a strong crux of youth at its core with the likes of George North, Rhys Priestland, Toby Faletau and Scott Williams all shining. And Lewis is looking forward to working with the future Wales internationals at age-group level.

"These are exciting times for Welsh rugby and I am very much looking forward to playing my part in sustaining the future of our national game," Lewis told Wales Online. "Without the structures below, no senior side can ensure sustained success and it is only through getting things right at the National Academy level that senior rugby can thrive.

"We will be taking an holistic approach to coaching across the age grade levels and working closely with the coaches at senior level to ensure consistency of messages and to exchange ideas, but, most importantly, to ensure that we are producing the right kind of rugby players to excel at elite level when their time comes."

The head of rugby at the WRU Joe Lydon said: "We are delighted to have secured the services of a coach of Allan's calibre and experience. He has strong opinions on how the pathway structure should progress and his arrival will herald a new phase of development on top of the good work already achieved at both regional and national age grade.

"Allan has the rare blend of vast experience coupled with great enthusiasm and understanding of the modern game. More importantly he has the skills and experience in coaching and developing both players and coaches in order to fulfil individual and collective potential.

"Allan is the first of a series of new appointments we are set to announce in the coming weeks. I am eagerly looking forward to working with Allan and the prospect of enhancing our systems and processes to ensure we continue to build a coherent, strong and positive Welsh rugby culture."

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