Warren Gatland: Wales coach must stay, says Gareth Llewellyn

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland has also coached Wasps, Ireland and New Zealand side Waikato
Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 29 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT; commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru; text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles

Former Wales captain Gareth Llewellyn says there would be no sense in replacing coach Warren Gatland before the 2015 World Cup.

Defence coach Shaun Edwards hit back at suggestions that the New Zealander is under pressure.

Wales have only beaten Fiji this autumn, and lost to Australia and New Zealand. They play South Africa next.

"It wouldn't make any sense at all to change the coaching staff," said Llewellyn.

"Our track record of sacking coaches in the year of the World Cup and the results we get thereafter is appalling. Let's not make the same mistake again.

"He'll put himself under pressure, he'll be frustrated. But under pressure for his job? I don't see it."

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Wales v South Africa: Gatland under pressure? Next question!

Wales have won just once in 27 games against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa since Gatland was appointed in 2007.

But the 51-year-old, under contract with Wales until 2019, has guided his side to three Six Nations titles, two Grand Slams and a World Cup semi-final.

Wales failed to make it out of the World Cup pool stages in both 1991 and 1995 after parting company with their coaching staff shortly before the tournaments began.

Two months after coach Alan Davies stood down, Llewellyn was part of the Wales team which bowed out of the 1995 World Cup after losing to Ireland.

Wales also failed to make it out of their pool at the 2007 World Cup, leading to Gareth Jenkins's departure, only a year after being appointed coach.

Gareth Llewellyn
Gareth Llewellyn played in three World Cups and won 92 caps

"While the results are frustrating for the team, the public and for the coaching staff, we are a year away from the World Cup," said the former Bristol and Harlequins lock.

"To be fair to the players and to any coach, they want more than a year's build-up.

"As frustrated as we all are with the run of results against southern hemisphere teams, outside of that we've done pretty well."

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Wales 28-33 Australia
Saturday, 15 November: Wales 17-13 Fiji
Saturday, 22 November: Wales 16-34 New Zealand
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 GMT)
All games played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

South Africa laboured to a 22-6 win over Italy last weekend and Llewellyn is confident Wales can record a first win over the Springboks since 1999 on Saturday.

"They've been fairly indifferent in form. They're very physical and very direct which kind of suits the way we defend," he said.

"They're a better fit for us than the other teams in terms of trying to knock one of them over.

"I think we have got a genuine opportunity on Saturday."

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