Josh Lewsey excited about new role in Wales

Last Updated: 30/08/13 6:57pm

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Josh Lewsey has been appointed Welsh Rugby Union's head of rugby.

Sky Bet

Josh Lewsey is prepared to take a head-on approach to the issues facing the Welsh Rugby Union after being appointed their head of rugby.

Lewsey, the former England full-back, will be in charge of all 'strategic and operational aspects of rugby in Wales outside of the national team', which is run by his former Wasps coach Warren Gatland.

Under Gatland, Wales reached the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup, won the Grand Slam in 2012 and defended their Six Nations title this year.

But Lewsey intends to focus on some of the 'global' problems facing Welsh rugby to ensure the continued health of the game at all levels.

Challenges

"On the days I used to play for England against Wales, my brother would wear a Welsh jersey - that's brotherly love for you."
Josh Lewsey

Lewsey told Sky Sports News: "If you look at it from the outside; the way the Wales team have been performing and the finances of the union, then things seem quite rosy.

"The challenges the WRU face are not unique to them. They are global challenges that some of the unions across the world face, one of which is participation levels.

"Second is connecting emotively with the community game and developing that core base structure for grassroots rugby.

"Increasingly, the senior-level elite game is more and more disparate from the community game. There is a balance to be struck there.

"That alongside different formats of the game coming through - you are seeing in 2016 the game going truly global and becoming an Olympic sport in Rio - so there's some real big, global strategic aspects which you have to make decisions about over the forthcoming period, but that makes it exciting."

Perspective

Lewsey had been working as Cornish Pirates' acting chief executive before being recruited by the WRU.

He said: "I'm not suggesting one specific job was an aim but I deliberately left (rugby) quite few years ago and stepped out into the business world to differentiate myself and develop a broader set of skills and have a broader set of experiences.

"The aim was always one day to utilise that in order to come back at a level you can make a professional, moral and caring difference."

Lewsey won 55 caps for England and was part of their World Cup winning team in 2003 but his mother is Welsh and mixed loyalties in nothing new to his family.

"My family is Welsh so this is an old issue that I've faced," he added. "On the days I used to play for England against Wales, my brother would wear a Welsh jersey - that's brotherly love for you."

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