Wales suffer blow ahead of Six Nations

Rhys Long (R) has left Warren Gatland's coaching staff

Wales have suffered a blow ahead of the 2016 Six Nations championship as their head of Performance Analysis Rhys Long is leaving to join the Football Association.

The former Wasps backroom assistant has been with Wales since August 2007 and has been one of Warren Gatland’s core backroom staff since he took over.

Long was also part of the 2013 British and Irish Lions staff that toured Australia.

According to a report in the Western Mail Long has taken up a senior role with the Football Association, where he will oversee the entire analysis structure.

The former Bridgend No.8 had a team of three under him which provided data that included the tracking individual players, facets of the game such as the lineouts, scrums, and the breakdown and this was done at international level, age-grade sides, the Sevens set-up and referees.

Long was often seen not far from Gatland and provided the head coach with in game analysis during Tests.

Long’s assistant Rhodri Bown is being seen as the favourite to fill the vacancy.

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