Englishman Josh Lewsey new Wales chief

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ENGLAND World Cup winner Josh Lewsey has been appointed as the new head of rugby for Wales, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced.

The 36-year-old, who retired in 2009 after winning 55 caps and making three Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions, will begin his new role at the end of September.

Joining the executive board of the WRU, Lewsey will take on operational and strategic management of the whole of the game in Wales from community to elite level outside the senior international squad.

“I’m delighted to have been offered this opportunity to play a pivotal role in ensuring the strength and well-being of the national sport of Wales,” Lewsey said. “Everyone involved in rugby knows how passionate the whole of Wales is about the sport so I’m fully aware of the huge responsibility I’m accepting.

“This is a challenge and an opportunity I’ll approach with total commitment and I promise everyone in Wales I’ll give my all to the task ahead.

“A key driver for me is to balance the focus between the elite and community games.”

After retiring as a player in 2009. Lewsey pursued a career in management in London before becoming acting chief executive of Cornish Pirates earlier this year, a position he is to relinquish.