Six Nations: Wayne Pivac calls on past police career in Wales coaching role

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Wayne Pivac ready to roll up the sleeves in his first campaign as Wales head coach
Dates: 1 February-14 March
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Head coach Wayne Pivac says his past career as a policeman will help him in his new role with Wales.

Pivac has replaced fellow New Zealander Wayne Gatland and is in charge of his first Six Nations campaign.

He believes his former job as an Auckland policeman has helped his coaching career, citing the example of other New Zealand coaches.

"Steve Hansen and Mike Cron are guys I know well from New Zealand and are in the same professions," said Pivac.

"For me personally it's been great.

"You get to deal with a cross section of the community first and foremost and the ability to elicit information from people who don't really want to talk to you is a skill in itself. It's reading body language.

"From the communication side of things and getting messages across, it's about realising people receive information and learn in different ways.

"It's been a big help and once you go into someone's home and have to tell them a loved one has passed away unexpectedly, you can sit down with a rugby player and have a conversation with them about not being picked.

"I don't find those conversations as difficult to deal with as maybe some other coaches."

Pivac has revealed how he called on his previous experiences in the process of replacing Gatland.

"The final interview for the Welsh job actually was around how you're going to handle the goldfish bowl and the expectation of the Welsh public," said Pivac.

"For me there is a big pressure and responsibility which goes with the role, but there are bigger things than a rugby match as well and I've experienced some of those.

"It puts everything into perspective for me personally."

Captain Alun Wyn Jones is preparing for his 14th Six Nations as Wayne Pivac takes charge of his first
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is preparing for his 14th Six Nations as Wayne Pivac takes charge of his first tournament

Pivac has provided a personal touch to the role having enjoyed a victory in an uncapped match against Barbarians in November 2019.

Wales open their campaign against Italy in Cardiff on Saturday, 1 February.

"We've been having a lot of one on ones," said Pivac.

"The Barbarians week was fantastic for me to get to know the players I haven't worked with before.

"Rugby players play the game for the same reasons - it doesn't matter where they come from.

"It's a gladiatorial sport, but having a beer with your mates is the sort of thing that's important in the game.

'A very nice vibe'

"The guys have been made aware of the style of game we want to play and the positional and role specifics they will have to play.

"Everyone has been given clear instructions as to what is expected and what I'm seeing at the moment is a great reaction.

"We've got a good vibe in the group and if the training sessions are anything to go by we've got guys putting their hands up.

"They all want to take the field in the first game. It's a very nice vibe, I've got to say."

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