The internationally renowned high performance manager Graeme Maw has been appointed Welsh rugby's Elite Performance Director with the leading Welsh regional and international coach Nigel Davies made Head of Rugby Development.
They will now form a triumvirate with new Head Coach Warren Gatland to identify, nurture and refine the most talented Welsh qualified players and turn them into polished international stars.
The bold new move on elite performance structure takes Wales to the forefront of world rugby with a powerful designed-for-purpose system in place.
Warren Gatland takes his place at the end of the new production line to work with the constant supply of top talent the system delivers to the regions for him to select for Wales.
Graeme Maw will develop groundbreaking techniques and systems to ensure players realise their full physical and psychological potential.
Nigel Davies will fuel the production line by ensuring every potential elite player or coach gets into the system as early in their career as possible.
The appointments and the radical restructuring of the management of Welsh rugby have been achieved after months of research and discussion by senior executives within the WRU.
By introducing a balanced team of professionals to tackle the complicated area of elite player and coach development Welsh rugby now emerges at the forefront of this challenging area within the modern professional game.
Graeme Maw has taken sportsmen and women to five Olympic and Commonwealth games in a 15 year career in elite sport.
As well as many years closely involved in personal training he has a doctorate in exercise physiology, a masters degree in sports physiology and an honours degree in sports science and recreational management.
Graeme has worked as Performance Director for the British Triathlon Association where he helped create a performance pathway, which helped the sport secure 28 world, European and Commonwealth medals in six seasons.
Previously he had been appointed High Performance Manager for the Queensland Academy of Sport in Australia and helped develop systems and structures that resulted in 13 swimmers from 9 coaches being selected to the 2000 Olympic Team where they won 19 medals.
He has also worked in the USA and has built a reputation which has led him to a high profile role delivering strategic coaching development and scientific guidance to governing bodies, sports organisations and industry.
He said: "I am delighted to be joining the Welsh Rugby Union because I aim to ensure this proud rugby nation sustains and develops its historic determination to be the best.
"Welsh rugby is more than a team and a stadium and I feel privileged to be part of it in a role which can help it aspire to reach great heights in the future.
"In elite sport you have to be at the forefront of all that high performance management can provide to achieve success and I know I can put in place systems and a culture which will improve the performance of our best players.
"I have already started detailed discussions with Nigel and I know we will be able to use our complimentary skills to create positive results. I want to be the best at what I do and becoming the Elite Performance Director for Welsh rugby is a fantastic opportunity for me."
His role as Elite Performance Director will also place him on the executive board of the WRU reporting directly to Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis.
As Head of Rugby Development Nigel Davies will create pathways to success for anyone who wants to be part of the game in Wales.
He boasts a unique CV as an international player turned regional and national coach who also proved his skills off the field as a management consultant working in major UK industries.
He played 498 times for Llanelli and won 29 Wales caps, and helped coach Llanelli to four European quarter-finals, two semi-finals and three Welsh Cup victories before becoming the Wales Attack Coach. He was Wales Head Coach against the World Cup winning Springboks last November.
Nigel graduated in mechanical and production engineering and used those professional skills within the automotive industry before developing his management consultant skills in industry and commerce across the UK.
He is a renowned rugby strategist who has already presented his visionary ideas on the shape of the game in Wales to the Welsh Rugby Union at main board level.
His wide-ranging new role will involve him delivering player and coaching development pathways and skills frameworks at every level of the game. He will focus on all rugby played in Wales and will have a remit to oversee the sport at age group, women's and schools levels.
One key focus for the Head of Rugby Development will also be the community game which remains a major priority for the Welsh Rugby Union. He will be a member of the Professional Rugby Board, he becomes a WRU representative on the Magners League Board and sits on the Welsh Rugby Union game policy and laws committees.
He said: "I am thrilled and honoured to have been appointed to this challenging but exciting new role at the heart of Welsh rugby.
"I have clear views on what needs to be done and how to achieve my goals which I have already shared with Graeme. The work has begun.
"My recent professional experience in the national coaching team, including my role as Head Coach for the South Africa match, has given me an incredible insight into the task at hand.
"I believe all that experience combined with my own confidence in my abilities will prove invaluable. I am looking forward to the future with energy and anticipation."
The Group Chief Executive explained how he and the EPD selection panel had consulted some of the most renowned figures in sports science, high performance management and in world rugby before deciding on the best way forward for the elite performance pathway in Wales.
He said: "During our search it became abundantly clear that we had to adopt radical change to achieve the dynamic results we are looking for.
"Graeme was quite obviously the outstanding candidate in his field and he needed to work within a structure which was capable of effective, clear and sustainable development for the long term.
"Nigel has been a revelation and his vision for the game will be invaluable in delivering the right people in the right way for the elite performance process to thrive.
"We have now created a triumvirate of talent at the top of the elite game in Wales which will be the envy of world rugby.
"Welsh rugby is again showing the way forward in an innovative and exciting way and the individuals we have now put in place have complimentary skills which boast a high degree of rugby knowledge and specialist experience of groundbreaking sports science techniques.
"There are great people working in Welsh rugby and within our player and coach development systems and these appointments will bring the best out of us all.
"The important thing is that we create structures, systems and a player culture which will develop a winning Wales and help rugby thrive and develop in its rightful place as our national sport."
Under the new system the Head Coach reports direct to the Group Chief Executive and has full responsibility for selecting and preparing the main national squad for all Wales games.
The EPD will also report to the Chief Executive and will be accountable for the efficient and successful management and delivery of elite performance. He will manage the WRU fitness team and will be tasked with creating the best possible environment for elite players in Wales.
The Head of Rugby Development oversees every aspect of player, coach and match official involvement in rugby from grass roots through to the elite game.
The triumvirate will now start work immediately and discussions have already taken place with key WRU staff.
GRAEME MAW BIOGRAPHY
Graeme Maw earned his worldwide professional reputation outside rugby but still boasts a passionate love of the game he once played alongside the ex-England coach Andy Robinson.
The 43 year old gave up the game early after playing for Lougbhorough Students and Weston-Super-Mare and turned his attention to endurance and adventure sports.
After leaving school in Bristol he attended Loughborough University where he achieved a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Sportscience and Recreation Management.
Later he was awarded a Master of Science degree from the Central Washington University in the USA and then got a Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Physiology from the University of Wollongong in Australia.
Those qualifications have steered a career which spans 15 years in elite sport in the USA, Australia and the UK.
From the mid 1990's he was Sport Scientist at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane where he worked closely with elite sportsmen and carried out applied physiological research and management evaluation projects.
As the High Performance Manager for swimming at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane from 1998 his work helped 13 swimmers from nine coaches get selected for the 2000 Olympic team winning 19 medals.
In 2001 he became Performance Director of the British Triathlon Association where he developed a performance pathway which spotted talent early and created medal winners.
His work there helped secure 28 World, European and Commonwealth medals in six seasons including World Triathlon Champions in 2002 and 2006.
Throughout his career he has worked closely training sportsmen and women, created talent pathways and management structures which have helped him become globally recognised within high performance sports management.
His expertise across all sports has also involved rugby and he has worked with the RFU in their coach development programme.
He has operated strategically at a national level as part of UK Sport's Performance Directors' Forum and has most recently operated as a sports performance consultant giving strategic, coach development and scientific guidance to governing bodies, sports organisations and industry.
NIGEL DAVIES BIOGRAPHY
Nigel Davies brings to his new role a rugby pedigree which sets him apart from many of his contemporaries in the global professional game.
He is a former international centre who went on to coach his country while also securing industrial and commercial experience outside the game which have honed his management skills.
As a player of undisputed skill he played 498 games for Llanelli becoming one of only 21 players to have scored more than 100 tries for the Scarlets where he also played in a record nine Welsh cup finals, winning six.
He played 29 times for Wales and earned the rare honour of captaining his country as well. In the 1993/94 season he played in the championship winning Wales team
During the same season he was a key member of the Llanelli team which won the treble of the WRU Cup, the Welsh league and beat the then world champion Australia touring team.
After retiring as a player he began a coaching career in which he rose to become Head Coach of Wales for the November 2007 fixture against South Africa in Cardiff.
That career began at Llanelli where he helped develop 25 players who eventually became full Welsh internationals.
At Llanelli he worked as attack coach alongside the Head Coach Gareth Jenkins and helped the Scarlets earn a top four ranking in Europe. With Nigel's help the Scarlets reached four European quarter finals in 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2004 and two semi's in 2000 and 2002.
They were Welsh Cup winners in 1998, 2000 and 2003 and Welsh Cup finalists in 1999 and 2002.
In 1999 and 2002 they were Welsh League Champion s and won the WRU Challenge Cup Trophy in 1999.
Alongside his developing rugby career Nigel also achieved success in the business after graduating as a mechanical and production engineer. He worked in the automotive sector and was head of a department of engineers testing the quality of hi-tech products for top of the range cars.
Then he used the skills and experience he gained there to become a management consultant working for major industry across the UK. That work involved researching and analysing management structures within high profile businesses to modernise and improve systems and procedures.
The consultancy work has helped develop his expertise as a senior rugby coach involved in assessing and changing methods quickly and effectively.