Welsh club Scarlets are in the market for another Kiwi coach.

Given the history of New Zealand coaches in Wales, and the many succeeding elsewhere around the globe, who could blame them?

Auckland's Wayne Pivac, signed to succeed Warren Gatland after next year's World Cup, transformed Scarlets in the past four years to the point those inside the club now tout it as one of the best coaching opportunities in world rugby.

Certainly, Pivac has proven what a launchpad the west Wales coastal town of Llanelli can be.


His promotion to national coach next year comes on the back of capturing the Pro12 title in 2017 and defeat in last season's Champions Cup semifinals to eventual victors Leinster.

Just as Wales locked in Gatland's successor well in advance, Scarlets are now looking to do likewise, with Pivac soon moving on.

Shortlists have been compiled and interviews are under way, with the hope of making an appointment by the end of November.

While reluctant to reveal specific candidates, Scarlets director and general manager of rugby Jon Daniels confirmed New Zealand coaches were in the mix to replace Pivac next season.

"Yes, there are Kiwis who have expressed an interest," Daniels told the Herald on Sunday.

"Warren has been here over a decade now and Wayne has added to that with his four years and the success he has brought and now going on to coach Wales as well.

"Maybe Kiwis have a natural empathy and understanding for the Welsh way of life and the way we play rugby. We admire and respect the winning mentality Kiwi coaches tend to bring as well. That's why those partnerships have worked well in the past.

"This is a performance sport so we need to open the net as wide as possible to get the right person."


Pivac, of course, continues a well-trodden path of New Zealand coaches in Wales, soon to follow Sir Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and Gatland at the international level alone.

Daniels says Scarlets are seeking a mentor who will embrace the club's rich history, which includes their celebrated 9-3 victory over the All Blacks in 1972.

Scarlets also want a coach who will connect with their community, bring an inclusive leadership style and a clearly aligned philosophy on selection.

"We are looking for someone with a track record of leading winning teams — somebody who likes to lead teams who play at a high tempo but with the ability to go into an arm wrestle if need be as well.

"The success we've had, the style of rugby Wayne and the team have delivered, is part of our DNA. For coaches who like to play that way, hopefully we should be an attractive proposition."

In another nod to a potential Kiwi replacement, Pivac will be consulted throughout the process.

"We'd be mad not to use someone of Wayne's experience ... He's got a unique perspective on who he thinks might be compatible and maybe who isn't. Whoever comes in is also going to need to have a good working relationship with the national coach."

Last season, Scarlets featured 19 internationals: 17 for Wales, one a Scotland captain and another with Ireland.

British and Irish Lions player of the series Jonathan Davies, along with Leigh Halfpenny, former Hurricanes loose forward Blade Thomson, last week named in the Scottish squad for their November internationals, and Crusaders fullback-wing Johnny McNicholl are among the current group.

Daniels also appears bullish about pulling together a healthy salary.

"Because of the on-field success we have had in recent years, we will have a greater level of funding ... That is why we are not shying away in our ambitions to want to go one step further and win the Champions Cup."