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Bevan appointed interim Performance Director at WRU

THE Welsh Rugby Union has appointed Wales and USA rugby fitness magnate, Huw Bevan as its interim WRU Performance Director.

Bevan replaces Nigel Walker OBE in the role, after he moved to become interim WRU CEO in January this year.

Former Cardiff Rugby and Ospreys strength and conditioning coach Bevan, has held senior elite sports performance positions within multiple organisations in rugby and cricket during an illustrious career and currently serves as an independent high-performance consultant to World Rugby on attachment to USA Rugby.

“The way the women’s game is developing , I think it’s a really exciting time to come in,” said Bevan.

“Yes, there are some issues and lots to do but I’ve never been one to run away from a challenge; this is a great opportunity to work within Wales, for my home nation and have a positive impact on the business.

“I’ve had a range of experiences in a wide variety of positions, and I think from all of those I will be able to bring the skills and competencies that are required to help me be effective in this role.

“The existing relationships I have with many people across the Welsh rugby community will be vitally important and I will look to expand those relationships and build new ones that will help us be successful.”

Bevan will be charged with continuing Walker’s legacy as Performance Director, which includes further development of the Women’s pathway and working collaboratively across the entire breadth of Welsh rugby to ensure sustainable and successful growth in all areas of the game.

Recognised as a tour-de-force within the industry Bevan, brings years of experience as well as a solid understanding of Welsh rugby’s systems and structures having also served at Cardiff (97-99) and later at the Ospreys, as Head of Strength and Conditioning from ’03-’08. During his time with the Ospreys the team enjoying success on the field as EDF Anglo Welsh Cup Winners 2007–08, Heineken Cup Quarter Finalists 2007–08 and Celtic League Champions 2004–05, 2006–07.

Bevan also played the lead role in the development of high-performance strategies and optimising player development at Newport RFC from ’14-’16 as High-performance manager before being promoted to Head of Performance & Rugby Operations from ’16 –’18, where he designed and delivered Newport’s umbrella rugby strategy.

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At international level Bevan also enjoyed two years as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Wales U21 A team from 2001 to 2003. He has a wealth of qualifications including a Ph.D in Power Development in Professional Rugby Players from Swansea University in 2012, a Masters in Management & Leadership from City & Guilds and WRU Level 4 Coaching diploma.

“Huw is a hugely experienced and talented performance director with an intimate knowledge of the Welsh rugby landscape but also an impressive background in performance sport outside of rugby and in a variety of different roles around the globe,” said WRU CEO Walker.

“This wealth of experience will be an asset to all quarters of Welsh rugby and we are delighted to welcome Huw back home to Wales.”

In addition to rugby, Bevan has held senior positions in Cricket, firstly working as Strength & Conditioning Consultant to Glamorgan C.C.C from ’02 – ’06, before joining the E.C.B National Cricket Performance Centre and Elite Development Programme as Strength & Conditioning Coach from ’08-’09, and most recently the England Cricket Team Strength & Conditioning Coach from ’09 –’14 where the team celebrated Ashes Wins in 2009, 2011, 2013, ICC World T20 Winners 2010 and ICC World Cup ODI Finalists 2013.

Bevan will be joining the WRU from USA rugby having joined them in 2018 as Strength & Conditioning Coach to the Senior Men’s 15 until 2022. In 2020, Bevan was appointed Head of High-Performance where he led and managed all USA high performance rugby programmes and established high-quality Talent ID and Development programs for pathway athletes, including physical profiling & creation of National Standards.

In August 2021 Bevan was promoted to Director of Performance, USA Rugby responsible for development implementation of a revised strategic plan before taking on the role of Interim General Manager USA Rugby in January this year which included 7s, Women’s and Pathways.