Warburton back with Wales rugby team in coaching role

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Former Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton has taken up an advisory role with the national team under new coach Wayne Pivac.

The Welsh Rugby Union says the 31-year-old Warburton, who retired last year because of injury after winning 74 caps for Wales, will join the coaching staff as technical advisor for the breakdown and defense “on a campaign-to-campaign basis.”

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Byron Hayward, another former Wales international, has also been appointed defense coach as Pivac shakes up the backroom team after replacing Warren Gatland, who left as head coach after 12 years in charge.

Speaking about the appointment of Warburton, Pivac says Warburton “is one of the most experienced leaders in rugby” and “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.”

Wales reached the semifinals at the recent Rugby World Cup.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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