30 Nov 2010

Lewis backs Gatland

5:58 am on 30 November 2010

The Welsh Rugby Union boss Roger Lewis has emphatically declared he has no regrets over giving coach Warren Gatland the reins until the 2015 World Cup.

Gatland accepted a four-year contract extension in October.

Wales' 37-25 defeat by New Zealand at the weekend extended their non-winning run to seven games, including a 16-all draw with Fiji.

Gatland started his reign in December 2007 in the wake of Wales' World Cup pool stage exit that year following a defeat by Fiji that led to Gareth Jenkins' immediate sacking as Wales coach.

When Gatland's contract extension was announced, WRU group chief executive Lewis admitted it included safeguards covering "performance-related" clauses.

Since losing to New Zealand in November 2009, Wales have won four of 16 games - against Samoa, Scotland, Italy and Argentina.

And in the wake of Wales' autumn series in which they lost to Australia and South Africa as well as drawing with Fiji and losing to the All Blacks, Lewis conceded there are issues to resolve.

Asked if he was disappointed by Wales' autumn showing, he replied: "Hugely so, absolutely.