Gatland rules out England job, eyes Super Rugby role in New Zealand

Rugby

Newly-announced British & Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland has ruled himself out of taking over from Eddie Jones as England coach, saying on Wednesday he sees his long-term future in Super Rugby in New Zealand.

Gatland has a couple of more immediate tasks to keep him busy — leading Wales into this year’s Rugby World Cup then taking charge of the Lions in South Africa in 2021 — but his name has routinely been linked with the Twickenham job.

Jones is contracted until 2021 while Gatland will step down from the Wales job after 12 years in November but, after being announced as the Lions coach for the third successive time on Wednesday, he said: “I can tell you definitively now I will not be coaching England, there is no way.

“I think my coaching path is going to take different directions. My whole focus is with Wales and the World Cup. The focus is then on the Lions and then my plan then is to go back to New Zealand and hopefully if there is an opportunity for some Super Rugby – that’s where I see my pathway at the moment.”

Some might suggest any of Gatland’s career projections should be taken with a large pinch of salt after he famously announced: “I’m done, let someone else have a go,” after the last Lions tour, but he took time on Wednesday to “put that comment into perspective”.

“The thing I struggled with was that there was an element of the NZ media,” he said. “I have no doubt that was an orchestrated campaign from the start to try to unsettle me. That took me by surprise. I had this romantic view of an ex-All Black and Kiwi coming home, leading the Lions and we would let the rugby do the talking and it would be a celebration of rugby. That wasn’t the case and that really threw me and it definitely took the gloss off that aspect of the tour.

“But the Lions as a whole, when I thought about it: the hospitality in New Zealand was amazing, the atmosphere at the games and the fans were incredible. And then there was so much positivity from the NZ public. The number of people afterwards, Kiwis, who contacted me to say they were disappointed by that element… that was really heartening.”

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Manny Pacquiao remains the most riveting fighter of his generation
Sources: Suns, Cheick Diallo reach two-year deal
Swinney showcases lineman as QB ‘stunt double’
Clanton, Suwannapura lead at LPGA team event
Eagles agree to terms to re-sign RB Sproles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *