Sam Warburton is back involved with Wales, not 18 months after announcing his retirement, after Wayne Pivac named him as a technical adviser to the national team.
The legendary Wales and British & Irish Lions captain was forced to hang up his boots through injury in the summer of 2018.
But with Pivac taking over from Warren Gatland as Wales boss, the former flanker has been brought into the fold to focus on breakdown and defence.
The announcement is a huge boost for Pivac’s new era with the big boots of Gatland to fill.
And Warburton has 79 test caps and two Lions tours worth of experience to pass on to the next generation of Welsh stars.
The 31-year-old said: “I’m delighted to be part of the senior national coaching team.
“With such a great group of players and management it is an amazing opportunity which I am very proud to be given”
Warburton’s announcement comes at the same time as Byron Hayward was unveiled as Pivac’s defence coach.
Hayward worked with Pivac at the Scarlets as they won the 2017 Guinness PRO12 title and then made a European semi-final for the first time in 11 years.
“I’m delighted to bring both Byron and Sam into the set-up and add to what is already a vastly experienced coaching team,” said Pivac.
“Both individuals are highly respected, knowledgeable and experienced in their disciplines and will add a great deal to the environment.
“Byron has a great coaching CV with experience in England, the club game in Wales, the age-grade system and his five successful years with the Scarlets.
“Sam is one of the most experienced leaders in rugby with excellent knowledge and communication skills and having only recently retired he has a full grasp on the international game.
“We looked at the coaching structure and the roles of each coach and believed by adding a second defensive role into the team adds value, adds a point of difference and allows a specialist to work in the contact area and I believe Byron and Sam will compliment each other in the roles.”
Hayward added: “I’m very proud and can’t wait to get stuck in and work with the cream of Welsh rugby.
“Wayne has put together a coaching team with a wealth of experience and knowledge and it will bring variety on and off the field and I’m excited about what lies ahead.”
Wales kick off their 2020 Guinness Six Nations campaign at Principality Stadium with the Italy the visitors, as they look to defend the Grand Slam they won earlier this year.