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|2019 Rugby World Cup bronze final – Wales v New Zealand|
|Venue:Tokyo StadiumDate:Friday, 1 NovemberTime:09:00 GMT|
|Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app|
As the sun rose on the final week of the 2019 World Cup on Monday, Wales players and supporters were again left reflecting on what might have been.
The agonising 19-16 semi-final defeat by South Africa in Yokohama meant Wales will battle for bronze against New Zealand next Friday rather than the golden prize of World Cup glory against England 24 hours later.
Wales’ journey in Japan has been full of highs and lows over the past seven weeks.
It started with them training in front of 15,000 fans in their adopted city of Kitakyushu but was followed by the controversy of backs coach Rob Howley being sent home before the tournament started because of an alleged betting breach.
Wales shrugged off the disruption to claim five wins before yet another semi-final setback, and their dreams of global success were again dashed in the latter stages.
Warren Gatland now has just one more game in charge before fellow New Zealander Wayne Pivac takes over.
The Gatland effect
Former flanker Martyn Williams was present at the start of the Gatland era, which has yielded three Grand Slams, two World Cup semi-finals and a record 14-match unbeaten run that helped Wales briefly reach world number one.
“Warren is some act to follow. When you think where we were when he came in in 2007, we were in a mess,” said Williams.
“It has been an incredible tenure and it has been a sad way to go out again in a semi-final.
“There are young players who have had huge exposure are the highest level in the World Cup. I am more optimistic than pessimistic going forward.
“Wayne Pivac comes in and he has done a fantastic job down at Scarlets. So it’s not as if it’s the end of an era. There’s another World Cup in most of these players.”
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