Tonight’s rugby news as Wayne Pivac reveals sadness at World Cup fate

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Here are the latest rugby headlines on Thursday, August 31.

Wayne Pivac willing Wales on from Japan

Former Wales head coach Wayne Pivac will be willing on his former players at the Rugby World Cup despite no longer being at the helm.

Pivac was axed by the Welsh Rugby Union in December 2022 following a dismal autumn campaign and a calendar year, with low points including home defeats to Italy and Georgia. He was replaced by his predecessor Warren Gatland, who takes charge of Wales for his fourth Rugby World Cup.

On September 10, when Wales kick off against Fiji, Pivac will be 8,000 miles away in Japan preparing for the domestic season in charge of his new club, NEC Green Rockets, who he will be trying to guide back to Japan’s top tier when their season officially begins in December.

“I was most looking forward to the Fiji game because, having lived in and coached Fiji and coaching Wales, and that game happens to be on my birthday,” Pivac told BBC Sport Wales. “So it was going to be a big day, and I was looking forward to a big celebration in the changing room afterwards. It was not to be.”

Pivac, who quit the Fiji job citing family reasons in 2007 before that year’s World Cup, will still be willing on his former Welsh players for the tournament in France.

“I want the boys to do well,” Pivac said. “It’s as simple as that – I support them. I still speak to a number of them on a regular basis and after living in Wales for nine years, I see that as home. I have moved on. I’ll be watching the World Cup with excitement, like everybody. I wish them well because I know they’re working hard and I hope it pays off.”

Pivac added: “We’ve seen against England and France, Fiji are no mugs and have improved in the areas they needed to improve, in particular the set-piece. This now makes them a threat to the top eight sides in the world.

Credit To Onwer