British & Irish Lions forwards coach Warren Gatland could well still be in the northern hemisphere when the next Lions tour heads 'down under' to Australia in 2013.
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis made it clear this week that he is determiend to try to extend Gatland's ontract beyond next year's World Cup in his native New Zealand.
Leiws undersatands that the 46-year-old Gatland is a highly prized coach, whose credentials at club and international level mark him out as a winner. He is already being touted as a possible successor to Graham Henry when he steps down from the All Blacks coaching role next year.
"'The coming months will be important, but the certainty is that Warren is with us through to the World Cup," said Lewis.
"Now, leading up the World Cup, we will need to be considering what happens after the World Cup and everyone knows my support for Warren and what he has achieved. I want a winning coach and I believe what Warren has delivered so far is outstanding for Wales, so that gives you a glimpse of my support for Warren.
"But there are other things to bear in mind with an international coach such as Warren - what else is on his agenda for his career and also his life in general.
"He has two teenage children and we need to be mindful of that. It is not just a question of what we want but also what he wants, how it fits in with his career and life as well. We must get what is right for Wales but Warren as well."
If he were to remain with Wales beyond 2011 then his chances of staying involved with the Lions on their 125th anniversary tour could be enhanced.