Gatland not planning New Zealand return

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:27
Large warren gatland lions stare 800

REACTION: Wales head coach Warren Gatland has dismissed reports he could leave his post and return to his native New Zealand following next year's British and Irish Lions tour.

Gatland, 53, has been in charge of Wales since 2007, leading them to three Six Nations titles, and is under contract until the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

He revealed he had been approached by Hamilton-based Super Rugby side the Chiefs, but said he would not countenance going anywhere before 2019.

"The Chiefs spoke to me about three months ago, but I told them it was a non-starter until my contract runs out with Wales," Gatland told Wales Online, in comments published on Monday.

"I told the Chiefs I would be interested after 2019, but there's no way I would leave Wales or the Lions now."

Gatland has taken a season-long sabbatical to prepare for the Lions' three-Test series in New Zealand in June.

The former Ireland and Wasps coach previously led the Lions to a series win in Australia in 2013.

Agence France-Presse