WALES have made Gareth Williams a full-time member of their coaching staff after he helped them to a Six Nations triumph with Ioan Cunningham replacing him as boss of the next generation.

Williams has been a member of Wayne Pivac’s backroom team since last autumn, working as an assistant with responsibility for the contact area.

The former Wales sevens supremo has now moved into that role full-time after previously combining the job with his position as the WRU’s head of transitional players and head coach of Wales Under-20s.

Former Scarlets forwards coach Cunningham will succeed him in charge of the young guns in the upcoming U20 Six Nations.

Pivac believes Williams has been a perfect fit in his coaching team, working closely with defensive boss Gethin Jenkins.

“Gareth is a coach with a wealth of experience across the game and is hugely respected,” said Pivac.

“He came into camp with us in the autumn and again in the Six Nations to run the contact area for us and he has done a great job to date and has the respect of the players and the coaching team alike.

“It is great that we are now able to bring him into the coaching team in a full-time role in what is an important appointment for us.

“Gareth has worked across, and has a great understanding of, the WRU pathway the appointment shows the progression and development opportunities that exist for coaches.”

Williams, who was an assistant coach for the Team GB side that won silver at the 2016 Olympics, is relishing the chance to build towards the 2023 World Cup in France.

“There are different challenges and performance expectations at whatever level I coach at, but I can’t wait to head towards the RWC with Wayne and continue working with Gethin, Jon (Humphries), Steve (Jones) and Neil (Jenkins) as a coaching team,” he said.

Williams will be focused on beating Canada and Argentina while Cunningham guides Wales’ future stars through the Six Nations at Cardiff Arms Park.

“I’m obviously delighted to get the opportunity to lead the talented team of coaches, players and staff,” said Cunningham. “It’s always an honour to represent your country at any level and I’m extremely honoured and privileged to have this opportunity.

“I’ve been working closely with Babs (Gareth Williams) over the last seven or eight months, looking at the depth of talent we have at this age group and helping to structure sessions and preparations which has been in uncertain times and difficult circumstances.

“Babs has done a great job with the U20s over the last few years and leaves the position in a very good place.”

The Under-20s squad, and the rest of Cunningham’s management team, will be confirmed soon ahead of their June 19 opener against England in the capital.