Former England fullback Josh Lewsey was hired Friday as the new Head of Rugby for Wales, an all-embracing role that will see the 2003 World Cup winner take charge of the country’s national game from community to elite level.
Lewsey, who ended his 19-year playing career in 2009 to enter the business world, will be reunited with Wales coaches Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards, who he played under at English Premiership team London Wasps.
“He joins us at a time when the international game in Wales is extremely successful and he knows we are determined to cascade that strength throughout the whole of Welsh rugby,” said Roger Lewis, chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union.
Wales are the reigning Six Nations champion and reached the World Cup semifinals in 2011.
The WRU said Lewsey, whose mother is Welsh, “will take operational and strategic management of the whole of the game in Wales” outside Gatland’s senior international squad. The position was vacant after Joe Lydon left to join England’s Rugby Football Union in May.
“Everyone involved in rugby knows how passionate the whole of Wales is about the sport,” Lewsey said, “so I am fully aware of the huge responsibility I am accepting.”
Lewsey was fullback for England when it beat Australia in the 2003 World Cup final, one of his 55 national-team appearances, and also toured New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in 2005.