WRU chief backs under-fire Gatland
February 8, 2011
Warren Gatland's Wales are in a major slump © Getty Images
Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chief Roger Lewis has backed coach Warren Gatland to lift his team out of their current slump.
Last Friday's 26-19 Six Nations loss to England at the Millennium Stadium extended Wales' winless run to eight games and heaped further pressure on Gatland and his coaching staff.
The Kiwi, who led his side to a Grand Slam in his first year in charge in 2008, signed a four-year contract extension in November and Lewis has thrown his support behind the current setup.
"This is a time for cool heads and certainly not to chop heads," he told The Daily Telegraph. "At the top of the WRU we believe we have the right people in place with the right skills and experiences.
"Our coaching team know what is required to win Grand Slams and European Cups as well as how to face defeat. To gain respect we first need self-respect, and to do that we all need to take responsibility.
"No-one is making excuses, it is up to all of us in the WRU to front up to this together and move forward."
Wales face a tough challenge against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday and have suffered further injury problems in the build-up, with No.8 Andy Powell ruled out with a shoulder issue and winger Morgan Stoddart doubtful due to a hand injury. Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies is available however after escaping sanction for a trip on England's Chris Ashton.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament