Gatland thinking over future

Warren Gatland has revealed he is weighing up offers to quit Wales at the end of his contract, but has committed his future until at least next year's Rugby World Cup. [more]

Gatland thinking over future

Warren Gatland has revealed he is weighing up offers to quit Wales at the end of his contract, but has committed his future until at least next year’s Rugby World Cup.

The British & Iirsh Lions forwards coach in South Africa last year, Gatland confirmed following the 29-10 second Test defeat to the All Blacks in his hometown of Hamilton at the weekend he is excited to lead Wales at the global tournament in 2011.

But the Kiwi, who has been heavily linked with a move to his home region and Super 14 outfit the Chiefs, revealed he already has several offers for his next coaching move when his contract expires next year.

Gatland, 46, said: “The plan at the moment is that I’m with Wales until the end of the World Cup. I do have a few options on the table post-World Cup but it’s a bit of a premature question.

“It’s not something I am concerned or worried about but it is a nice position to be in. I’m sure things will pan out between now and the World Cup.

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“The Chiefs job is not something I have thought about. At the moment my whole focus is on Wales and doing the best we can in 2011. That’s the most important thing in my mind.

“I’m not thinking about myself and my future because I’m committed to doing a really good job for Wales. I am passionate about the job and the group of players I have got.

“The opportunity to have these players for the World Cup excites me because for the first time we will feel like a club side. We will have the players for five months where I think, individually and collectively as a team, we can make progress.

“I’m looking forward to that and all the coaches are excited about it.”

That will mean Gatland will see out the remaining 15 months of his contract which runs out following the World Cup in his native New Zealand.

And Gatland will become only the second Wales coach in 22 years to see out his contract, after Steve Hansen in 2004. All the rest have either quit – or been sacked.

He signed a four-year deal worth almost £1million to take charge in the aftermath of the shock 2007 World Cup exit.
And there will be huge pressure on the Welsh Rugby Union to keep the respected coach, especially if Wales are successful in New Zealand next autumn.

He claimed after a disappointing Six Nations this year that he "doesn't fear" the sack. And there is sure to be plenty of interest in the British Lions coach who has won titles in both hemispheres with Wasps and Waikato, as well as leading Wales to a Grand Slam in 2008.

Gatland added: “I would love to come back to New Zealand at some stage and have an opportunity to get back into coaching if the chance arises.”

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