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Wayne Pivac confident Wales will be Six Nations contenders in 2021

The Wales head coach managed only three Test wins in his first year in charge.

Image: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left

WAYNE PIVAC INSISTS Wales will be Six Nations contenders in 2021 despite an underwhelming start to his reign.

Pivac managed only three Test wins in 2020, with his first year in charge culminating in Saturday’s 38-18 Autumn Nations Cup win over Italy in Llanelli.

Italy twice and Georgia were the only sides Wales have beaten this year, but New Zealander Pivac believes he can win over the doubters in his adopted homeland by launching a Six Nations title challenge in 2021.

“If we go pre-lockdown you would say we’re not too far off, the French game at home and the game with England,” Pivac said.

“Obviously we selected a different type of squad for this Autumn series, which has been discussed quite a bit.

“But combining the two squads and our learnings, I’d like to think we’ll have a good crack at it (2021 Six Nations).

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“No doubt others will be thinking England, France and Ireland.”

Wales had not lost to Italy since 2007 and won 14 consecutive games against the Azzurri before their trip to Parc y Scarlets.

But Wales were in danger of being embarrassed when Italy took an 18-17 lead at the start of the second half.

Pivac’s side, however, regrouped and in the end ran in five tries. There were first Test scores for Kieran Hardy and Sam Parry, while Gareth Davies, George North and Justin Tipuric crossed in the second half.

“It wasn’t the 80-minute performance we were after, but it was heading in the right direction,” Pivac said.

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