Former Flying Fijians coach Wayne Pivac has received a glowing recommendation to take the Scarlets top job in the RaboDirect Pro12 competition by former Wales back Shane Howarth.
Assistant Scarlets coach Pivac is rumoured to be the front-runner to replace the outgoing Simon Easterby, who has left the side to become Ireland’s new forwards coach.
Pivac selected by the Fiji Rugby Union to coach the Flying Fijians from 2004 preparing for the 2007 Rugby World Cup but left the squad in 2007 a few months away from the French championship.
Wainibuka native Ilivasi Tabua stepped in and led the team to a quarterfinal berth losing 20-37 to eventual Webb-Ellis Cup winner South Africa. Many pundits believe it was the three years preparation by Pivac which had conditioned the Fijian side to compete at that level and had Pivac stayed for the global showcase would have progressed further than the quarterfinals.
Pivac also showed his experience in the abbreviated code during his tenure by leading the national sevens team, which was struggling in the 2004-5 IRB Sevens circuit not winning any of the eight tournaments, to win the 2005 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong.
The national outcry by the rugby sevens mad nation with the series outcome; losing three tournament finals, two semi final losses and two plate winners; forced the removal of then coach Pauliasi Tabulutu, assistants and most of the series squad.
National sevens hero Waisale Serevi, who had missed selection for several seasons and had been made a pariah by the FRU was called back a fortnight before the championship and formed the combination with Pivac to surprise all and sundry to be the only team at that time to win the Melrose Cup twice.
And Howarth believes Pivac would do a good job at the Scarlets.
“He’s got a proven track record,” he told the BBC.
“He coached with Auckland and I think won three championships in a row down there and for people up here it’s a pretty tough competition.
“He’s also had international experience with Fiji and he’s had a head coach role so he understands what it takes to be a head coach.
Howarth added: “Wayne knows his rugby. He’s very meticulous in what he does and he’s very good around the forward pack.”
- Planet Rugby