Gatland says no to All Blacks top job

Ruben Hill
November 12, 2019

The Springboks' World Cup success in Japan earlier this month has teed up a mouthwatering prospect for British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, who will lead the side to South Africa on their 2021 tour.

Commonly seen as the No 1 in worldwide rugby coaching, Gatland was coy on the possibility of one day managing England, but reflected on his history of mind games with Eddie Jones, while criticising the Rugby Football Union for not building a national training centre to match the one Wales have: "I don't know why they haven't recognised what a difference that would make".

Former Wales coach Warren Gatland confirmed Tuesday he has turned down an offer to apply for the All Blacks head coaching job. He will then return to his native New Zealand to continue preparations with the Chiefs for the Vodacom Super Rugby season, which kicks off at the end of January next year.

New Zealand Rugby has invited 26 New Zealand coaches to apply for the All Blacks coaching post vacated by Steve Hansen, and has previously said if Gatland wanted to be considered then he would have to give up the Lions role.

"They (NZR) appreciated it, they understood it", Gatland said.

"I was contacted about that...it was nice to be contacted I politely declined putting my name forward", Gatland said this morning.

"If I was going to be selfish, I think for the Lions it puts an extra edge on it because now we're going to South Africa to play against the world champions", the 56-year-old said, according to the Telegraph. I'm a great believer in what will be will be. "It wouldn't sit well with me, having already made those commitments to the other two parties". That means that if I'm successful with the Chiefs, that opportunity might come along.

Gatland took over Wales in 2007 and guided them to four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams.

"The time frame is ideal for me, coaching against those South African teams and tapping into some of the knowledge from a New Zealand perspective, with people who've been involved with the South African teams".

New Zealand Rugby expects to appoint Hansen's successor before Christmas.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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