Geraint Lewis and Ioan Cunningham will lead Wales Women in their three-match autumn campaign against Japan, South Africa and Canada.

The WRU performance coaches have been appointed on an interim basis as a permanent successor to Warren Abrahams, who left as head coach in July after just nine months in the job, is sought.

Lewis and Cunningham will be assisted by Scarlets attack coach Richard Whiffin, while Sophie Spence continues as World Rugby coaching intern until next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

The women’s team, who will play their fixtures this season at Cardiff Arms Park, haven’t won a match in two years.

Earlier this month, a group of 123 former internationals said "enough is enough" after launching a petition to improve the state of women's rugby in Wales.

Abrahams’ departure came after a winless Six Nations, before which saw the resignation of former Wales captain Rachel Taylor as the full-time women's national skills coach.

WRU chairman Robert Butcher used his address in the governing body’s annual report, published only last week, to state that mistakes made would be put right.

Former Wales winger Nigel Walker today started in his role as WRU performance director and says the women’s game is one of his top priorities.

“The women’s performance programme is one of my top priorities at present as I look forward to getting stuck into this exciting role,” he said.

“The search has begun for a new Wales Women head coach but we are also confident we have the right team to support the players this autumn as they start to build towards next autumn’s rearranged Rugby World Cup.”

Cunningham recently led the Wales U20 coaching team and was previously part of Wayne Pivac’s Scarlets set-up.

Lewis is an experienced women’s coach having been involved with Wales since October 2019 following successful stints with Wales U20 and Wales U18.

Cunningham said: “I’m super-excited to come on board on a full-time basis and work with our female Welsh talent.

“Last weekend (when they held a training camp) was excellent, we’ve put some foundations in place for the autumn which is just around the corner and with next year’s Women’s Six Nations and Rugby World Cup in mind.

“We have been very pleased with the performances of Welsh players in the Allianz Premier 15s.

“The players are testing each other week after week in high-intensity games so that when they play Test rugby they can deliver at a high level. Competition drives standards and that’s what we want.”

Lewis added: “It’s always a privilege to be involved with any international team and adding coaches who are vastly experienced in professional rugby is already raising standards at training.

“We’ve seen improvement already and our autumn opposition will test us in many different areas which is exactly what we want at this point in time.

“We expect Japan to be a very fast, skilful side, while South Africa will provide a tough, physical challenge and Canada are a very athletic team and consistently one of the top sides in the world in the women’s game.

“We are very much looking forward to returning to Cardiff Arms Park and welcoming crowds back to our matches.

“Hopefully we can give them something to cheer over the next couple of months.”

Whiffin said: “I’m very excited to join the team for the autumn. I’m buoyed by the attitude and potential I saw at the training camp on the weekend and keen to bring my experience of the professional game to support the players in producing an expansive, attractive brand of rugby.

“We have some skilful outside backs along with forwards who like to play with the ball too, that is the type of rugby we hope to produce at the Arms Park this autumn.”

Siwan Lillicrap will continue as team captain.

She said: “As players, it’s been good to be back together, we set some baseline standards on the weekend for the next 12 months and we are embracing what this coaching team is bringing to the group.

“We have a good blend of autumn games to be excited about. They will challenge us and provide good preparation for the year ahead.

“It will be great to welcome supporters back to home games at the Arms Park.

“Many of our players have been making their presence known for their clubs recently and we want to show what we can do in front of a Welsh crowd.

“We should all have played five league games in by the time autumn comes around, so we will be well-prepared.”

Wales Women autumn series (KO times TBC) Sunday, November 7, Wales v Japan Saturday, November 13, Wales v South Africa Sunday, November 21, Wales v Canada