WARREN Abrahams has become Wales’ first national black coach after being appointed as boss of the Women’s side.

The South African coach will lead Wales into next year’s World Cup in New Zealand with 67-times capped Rachel Taylor joining his management team as national skills coach.

Rowland Phillips’ departure from the top job was confirmed in March after Chris Horsman had held the reins in his absence during 2019/20.

Former Dragons coach Darren Edwards, who is boss of the sevens, had been scheduled to be in charge for the Six Nations finale against Scotland at the start of the month but the fixture was cancelled because of coronavirus.

Now it is head coach Abrahams that will spearhead the preparations for next year’s World Cup as Wales look to get back on track after a nightmare, winless Six Nations.

The South African had been preparing USA women’s sevens team for the 2020 Olympics before the pandemic led to the postponement of the tournament, then him losing his role.

He previously worked with England’s men’s sevens team, Harlequins academy and the RFU and is relishing the chance to be in charge of a 15s international team for the first time.

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“This is a hugely exciting time to be part of the Wales Women programme and we have an opportunity to do something very special in the next 12 months and beyond,” said Abrahams.

“It’s my first international 15s head coach role at this level but I feel I’ve seen, experienced and learned enough to create a high performance environment that provides memorable experiences.

“We have around 38 weeks before we’re due to get on a plane to New Zealand which is not long but in the current climate we have to cherish the time and resources we have as you never know what’s in store.

“For me, mindset is key. Limitations are only what we put on ourselves. I realise that we all have obstacles and challenges to overcome and the current climate is a great example.

“Our players are balancing a number of aspects of their lives to ensure they perform to their optimum level, however, with all this in mind, if we take responsibility for our own actions, we are already steps ahead.”

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Abrahams will settle into the role with the help of Wales legend Taylor, who has been appointed on a one-year development contract.

“I believe my experience working with both the WRU community team and more recently the RGC performance team during the last five years will prove invaluable,” said the former captain.

“It’s given me the chance to watch and work with a variety of coaches plus support the development of male and female age grade and club players.

“I'm looking forward to developing those connections and supporting the transition of players into international athletes.

“Having been to three Rugby World Cups as a player, I saw how much the competition developed each time.

“It’s the pinnacle of women’s international rugby and for these players to have the chance to compete in New Zealand will be amazing on several levels.

“I’m excited to work with Warren. I know he will challenge me as a coach and I believe my experience and skills will help to support his aims too.”