Hansen will leave his post at the end of Wales' 2004 RBS Six Nations campaign and the WRU intend to leave no stone unturned in their search for the best man to replace him.
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A five-man selection panel, which consists of WRU Chairman David Pickering, WRU Chief Executive David Moffett, WRU Group General Manager Steve Lewis, Chairman of the WRU Game Policy Committee David Rees and WRU Director of Rugby Terry Cobner, hopes to complete the new appointment before the start of the Six Nations tournament. 'The ultimate criteria is simple,' said Lewis. 'We want to secure the best man possible to coach the Wales national side.
'We are all, as I'm sure the Welsh public are, eager to bring this process to a conclusion and learn who the next man to coach our country will be.
We hope to make that announcement as soon as possible. 'He will be taking charge of the biggest job in our national game and will be in a position to reap the benefits from the newly formed regional structure.
'He will have the weight and the expectations of a nation behind him and the full support of the WRU to take Wales forward as a rugby nation and build on our recent progress.'