Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams will join the national squad for their upcoming summer tour.
Williams has overseen some impressive performances with one of the youngest squads on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series this season, including winning two Challenge Trophies and a victory against Olympic champions Fiji for the first time in four years.
The announcement comes in light of Danny Wilson's withdrawal last week due to growing commitments with the Cardiff Blues. Williams will now join head coach Robin McBryde, defence coach Shaun Edwards, and regional coaches Stephen Jones (Scarlets) and Matt Sherratt (Cardiff Blues) for next month's two-Test tour against Tonga and Samoa.
"I feel honoured and excited with the challenge ahead in supporting Robin and working with the other coaches," says Williams, who will bring with him the experience of several years working in the difficult World Rugby Sevens Series environment. "The opportunity to learn, collaborate and show what I can offer is very exciting."
The West Walian, who hails from Tumble but now lives with his family in Llangrannog, says he is pleased on behalf of the entire sevens programme to be taking up the temporary role. "This appointment shows that the programme's work is being acknowledged," believes Williams, whose team is building towards the Commonwealth Games and Sevens Rugby World Cup in 2018.
"I consulted the sevens players and management in my decision-making process, because I was keen to ensure I had their full support, which is something I value highly."
Wales head coach Robin McBryde commented: "We've been very impressed with Gareth's work with Wales Sevens, winning silverware this season with a very young group of players. With so many aspects of union and sevens crossing over, such as the tackle area and ball-handling skills, his appointment can give us a bit of an edge in that department. I'm confident he'll have a positive impact working with individuals, and complement the coaching staff already in place."