Allan Lewis named Welsh Rugby academy coaching chief

Former Wales assistant and Newport head coach Allan Lewis has been appointed as the Welsh Rugby Union's national academy coaching manager.

Lewis will oversee the WRU national age grade coaching programmes from the age of 16 to the senior team.

Lewis leaves his job as Hartpury College  RFC head coach to take up the "pivotal role" in February 2012.

He was assistant to Kevin Bowring and was a selector for Bowring's successor Graham Henry between 1998 and 2001.

"We are delighted to have secured the services of a coach of Allan's calibre and experience," said WRU head of rugby Joe Lydon.

"He has strong opinions on how the pathway structure should progress and his arrival will herald a new phase of development on top of the good work already achieved at both regional and national age grade.

Without the structures below, no senior side can ensure sustained success

Allan Lewis Welsh Rugby Union's national academy coaching manager

"Allan has the rare blend of vast experience coupled with great enthusiasm and understanding of the modern game.

"More importantly he has the skills and experience in coaching and developing both players and coaches in order to fulfil individual and collective potential."

Lewis, one of Welsh rugby's most experienced coaches, has also coached with Llanelli, Celtic Warriors and Moseley.

He has also coached Wales' under-15, under-19 and under-21 teams which led to his appointment as Wales' senior 'A' team coach.

Now he has joined a Welsh national set-up following their fourth place at the 2011 Rugby World Cup  in New Zealand.

"These are exciting times for Welsh rugby and I am very much looking forward to playing my part in sustaining the future of our national game," said Lewis.

"Without the structures below, no senior side can ensure sustained success and it is only through getting things right at the national academy level that senior rugby can thrive.

"We will be taking an holistic approach to coaching across the age grade levels and working closely with the coaches at senior level to ensure consistency of messages and to exchange ideas, but, most importantly, to ensure that we are producing the right kind of rugby players to excel at elite level when their time comes."