The Welsh Rugby Union has appointed former Newport Gwent Dragons and Sale Sharks head coach and former Wales outside half Paul Turner to help identify and recruit Welsh qualified players currently playing outside Wales.
He will work on a part-time basis with WRU Exiles programme manager Gareth Davies to unearth Welsh qualified talent across the UK and abroad, potentially making players available to the Welsh regions and the National Team.
Turner will report to Gareth Davies and WRU Head of Rugby Performance Geraint John, who will, in turn, make presentations to the regions regarding Welsh qualified players who may be of interest to them.
Geraint John said, “Paul has a fantastic eye for talent, and is extremely well connected in rugby circles in the UK and around the world. He will watch and observe top end players capable of playing regional and international rugby in Wales.”
Paul Turner said, “I’m delighted to accept this role with the Welsh Rugby Union. It’s an area I’m very passionate about, having lived and worked outside of Wales for many years, and I’ll be looking for Welsh qualified players around the world who have the potential to play at the top level. They may or may not be available to Welsh regions at the moment so I will continue to monitor their progress and their situation, in conjunction with the potential needs of the Welsh regions and Wales.”
Gareth Davies added, “I’m thrilled to welcome Paul into the Exiles programme. The experience and exceptional qualities he brings to the role will be extremely valuable. The Exiles pathway is hugely significant in relation to the identification and recruitment into Wales of elite, Welsh qualified players based across the UK and overseas. Paul has always been a great supporter of the Exiles programme and his thorough understanding of the strategic objectives of the role will ensure that his contribution will be hugely beneficial to us. “