Gareth Jenkins has been appointed as Wales' new coach on a two-year contract.
Fans' favourite Jenkins was announced as the successful candidate following a meeting of Welsh Rugby Union directors in Cardiff.
Llanelli Scarlets rugby director Jenkins has beaten off competition from the likes of Leeds boss Phil Davies, and replaces 2005 Grand Slam-winning supremo Mike Ruddock, who quit during this year's RBS 6 Nations tournament.
Jenkins, whose Llanelli reign saw him lead the Scarlets to two European Cup semi-finals, a Powergen Cup final, Celtic League title and numerous domestic successes, was assistant Wales coach when they were crowned 1994 Five Nations champions.
And he also made a major impact on last summer's British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, overseeing an unbeaten midweek team in tandem with Ian McGeechan.
Jenkins, who will take charge for Wales' two-Test tour of Argentina in June, has agreed a two-year deal, which will include the 2007 World Cup assault.
"This is something to which I have aspired for a long, long time. It is a job I would have been disappointed at not filling at some stage of my career," said Jenkins.
"I'm very excited at the prospect of working with the Welsh players and I know there are huge challenges that lie ahead of us all as we build towards the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
"I can't wait to get started and I know that the clock is ticking towards my first international in Argentina in 45 days' time. It is a new and exciting challenge for me and I am greatly looking forward to it."
Former Wales captain and WRU chairman David Pickering said: "When I was playing for Llanelli in the 1980s I came under Gareth's coaching influence so I have first-hand experience of his coaching calibre.
"And it is less than 12 months ago that Gareth was part of the British & Irish Lions coaching team in New Zealand, whose prime job was preparing the midweek team who ended the tour undefeated.
"He is an innovative performance coach with 24 years' experience as a top-level manager whose career has incorporated the transition to a professional rugby environment."
WRU chief executive Steve Lewis - another member of the five-man selection panel - added: "Gareth is a strong strategic thinker and team-builder whose achievements have included the development of many elite players.
"He has also filled the role of Scarlets Regional Director for the past three years and this position has allowed him to work closely with WRU development staff and other key personnel and organisations within the region.
"He is a strong character who is not afraid to air his views and has vast experience of management in a high performance environment. The panel believe that the time is right for Gareth to assume this major responsibility.
"He has exhibited a real desire to do the job and would be a fine ambassador for the Welsh Rugby Union."