Wayne Pivac: Wales new coach says planned 2020 New Zealand tour is 'fantastic'

Alun Wyn Jones and Kieran Read embrace after a New Zealand and Wales Test match in 2016
Alun Wyn Jones and Kieran Read embrace after a New Zealand and Wales Test match in 2016

Incoming Wales coach Wayne Pivac says it would be fantastic if his first trip as national boss was to his native New Zealand in 2020.

Wales are planning a three-Test tour to face the All Blacks, less than a year after Pivac has officially taken over from fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland following the 2019 World Cup.

Wales last visited New Zealand in 2016 when they lost 3-0.

"That would be fantastic if it was to come to fruition," said Pivac.

"It would be a proud moment for me.

"I have heard it's on the horizon but when it's confirmed, it's confirmed.

"It would be a Six Nations followed by three matches against the All Blacks.

"What better way early on to test yourself against one of the best teams, if not the best, in the world?

"That would be a big challenge but one I'm sure everyone would look forward to."

New Zealand celebrate their opening try
New Zealand beat Wales 3-0 in a test series in June 2016

Pivac's first game as Wales coach will be against the Barbarians, just weeks after the conclusion of next year's World Cup in Japan.

The Welsh Rugby Union is set to finalise plans to play the invitational side in Cardiff in the autumn of 2019.

It will mark current Scarlets coach Pivac's first game in charge of Wales after replacing Gatland, who is standing down after 12 years in charge.

"There is talk of that game and that will be a festive occasion I would think," said Pivac.

"It would more around a farewell to a group that's done a fantastic job and it would be a great occasion for all involved."

Pivac revealed earlier this month Stephen Jones and Jonathan Humphreys would join his Wales backroom staff but his defence coach has yet to be finalised.

Byron Hayward has been tipped to follow Jones from the Scarlets into Pivac's new Wales backroom staff.

Pivac says Hayward is still contracted to the region and new coach Brad Mooar is hopeful of keeping the current Scarlets' defence coach.

"Byron is contracted until another year with the Scarlets and I know Brad is keen to work with him and they have had an initial chat." added Pivac.

"I hope to name the Welsh defence coach sooner rather than later but nothing has been confirmed at this point."

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