Wales have appointed Warren Abrahams as their new women’s head coach on a three-year contract.
The former USA Women’s sevens assistant coach will lead the country’s preparations for the 2021 Rugby World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Abrahams, who becomes the Welsh Rugby Union’s (WRU) first black national coach, has previously held roles as part of the England Men’s Sevens coaching teams and in the academy set-up at Harlequins.
“This is a hugely exciting time to be part of the Wales Women programme and we have an opportunity to do something very special in the next 12 months and beyond,” South African-born Abrahams said.
“It’s my first international 15s head coach role at this level but I feel I’ve seen, experienced and learned enough to create a high-performance environment that provides memorable experiences.
“We have around 38 weeks before we’re due to get on a plane to New Zealand which is not long but in the current climate we have to cherish the time and resources we have as you never know what’s in store.”
Wales have been without a permanent head coach since Rowland Phillips left his role officially in March 2020 after missing all the 2019 autumn matches and this year’s Six Nations.
Meanwhile, the WRU has named Rachel Taylor as Women’s National Skills Coach, on a one-year development contract, with the former Wales captain the organisation’s first professional national female coach.
“Having been to three Rugby World Cups as a player, I saw how much the competition developed each time. It’s the pinnacle of women’s international rugby and for these players to have the chance to compete in New Zealand will be amazing on several levels,” said Taylor.
“I’m excited to work with Warren. I know he will challenge me as a coach and I believe my experience and skills will help to support his aims too.”
WRU CEO Steve Phillips said: “Warren Abrahams and Rachel Taylor are key, strategic appointments for us, not only for women’s rugby in Wales but in terms of our standing in the global game.”
The draw for the 2021 Rugby World Cup, which will be hosted by New Zealand, will be held on Thursday.
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