Six Nations 2021: Ken Owens says Wales coach Wayne Pivac right to back philosophy

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Hooker Ken Owens says he is glad Wayne Pivac continued to believe in his coaching mantra, with Wales now on the brink of a Grand Slam.

Pivac won three out of 10 games in his first year in charge but has led Wales to four wins in the 2021 Six Nations.

Victory against France in Paris on Saturday would complete the transformation for Pivac and his side.

“He’s stuck to his guns, believed in his philosophy, and tweaked things along the way,” said Owens.

Few predicted the turnaround in fortunes as Wales finished fifth in the Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup in 2020 as Pivac initially struggled to follow in the footsteps of fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland.

Owens was Pivac’s captain at Scarlets where he saw something similar develop with a slow start before the region won the Pro12 title in 2017.

“It’s been a tough transition for him stepping into the job after the great work Gats did over the last 10 years,” said Owens.

“It was never going to be an easy job and there have been some early teething problems.

“We look at things after every campaign and I’m glad he’s backed the squad, players and management.

“The players and staff have done the same with him and we’ve got an ‘all in it together’ mentality. We’ve got some results on the board and hopefully we’re on the verge of a bit of history.

“Foundations were put in during the last Six Nations and Wayne and coaches blooded young players in the autumn campaign which we’ve benefitted from and will continue to do so.

“It comes down to everyone trusting and backing each other and working hard. We have had little bit of luck along the way, but you have to capitalise on that.”

Wales’ attacking game has also improved with 17 tries in four games so far, including an Owens’ double in the 48-7 win over Italy.

“Things are clicking,” said Owens.

“We’re taking our opportunities and trying to spread the ball and have had some individual brilliance throughout the competition.”

Agencies

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