For just an hour down the road from Phokeng, the team that he played for 140 times, including a victory over the Lions in 1993, will be making their debut in the Super 14 final.
Even though the three-Test series between the world champion Springboks and the Lions is set to dominate the global rugby agenda next month, the tourists' opening fixture at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace is likely to be relegated into second place behind the Super 14 final between the Bulls and Chiefs.
The Chiefs are the professional side born out of Gatland's beloved Waikato and Mils Muliaina will be taking his team to Loftus Versfeld to meet a Bulls side packed with seven players who could well line-up for the Springboks against the Lions.
"Even though the Chiefs will be playing in the Super 14 final in Pretoria on the same day as the Lions tour starts, I'll be concentrating solely on our game in Phokeng," said Gatland.
"I'll be hoping the Chiefs can win the Super 14 title for the first time and I might catch up with them before they head back to New Zealand, but my focus is firmly fixed on my job with the Lions."