Warren Gatland will return to take charge of Wales once again with his first objective the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.
The New Zealander won three Grand Slams in his first spell in charge of Wales, from 2008 to 2019, and now takes over from Wayne Pivac following a difficult 2022.
WRU CEO Steve Phillips confirmed the news, admitting that it was not an easy decision to move on from Pivac.
Phillips said: “This is one of the toughest calls to make in sport, but the review process has reached its conclusion and we have acted quickly and efficiently in the very best interests of our national team.
“Ultimately we are in the results business and we have agreed with Wayne that the current trajectory for Wales is not where we want it to be and we thank him sincerely for his time, enthusiasm, diligence and effort, which is unquestioned, as head coach over the last three years.”
Gatland returns with the 2023 Championship next on the horizon and will coach the team at the 2023 World Cup, with the possibility of going through to the 2027 edition in Australia.
Since leaving Wales, he has coached the Chiefs in Super Rugby as well as leading the British & Irish Lions in 2021 in South Africa.
And he was understandably thrilled at leading a side he knows so well once again.
“I’m very much looking forward to returning to coach Wales,” said Gatland.
“This is an opportunity to achieve something with a talented group of players in a country so passionate about rugby. A country which made my family and I so welcome, when we first arrived fifteen years ago, and all the time we were there.
“Our immediate priority is obviously the 2023 Guinness Six Nations and next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“There is little time for sentiment, professional sport is all about preparation, values and results. There will be new challenges as there always is with a change in head coach, but for me the environment, the players and their families will always come first.
“We must prepare to the best of our ability in the time available. We will value and respect each other, we will work hard and, if we get this right together, performances and results will follow.”