Rugby Union: Wales keep Davies for World Cup

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The Independent Online
ALAN DAVIES and the the Wales management team were yesterday reappointed to next year's World Cup, an eventuality that would have been unlikely had Wales not shown such improvement last season, writes Steve Bale.

Coached by Davies, they won the Five Nations' Champonship and then won tour Tests against Canada, Fiji and Tonga before losing heavily to Western Samoa.

Annual appointments are the norm elsewhere as well, even though the establishment of the World Cup now entails planning in four-year cycles.

'I wouldn't have thought anyone would want it any other way,' Vernon Pugh, the Welsh Rugby Union chairman, said. 'There is always pressure on a coach because he is in large part judged by his results.'

This will be the second World Cup for Davies. His team must next beat Romania in Bucharest and Italy in Cardiff in the autumn to gain the most favourable first-round place, in the group with New Zealand, Ireland and an Asian qualifier, probably Japan.