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Warren Gatland to walk away from Wales job after next World Cup

Gatland is the longest-serving coach in Wales’ history.

Gatland has been in charge since December 2007.
Gatland has been in charge since December 2007.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

WARREN GATLAND PLANS to end his reign as Wales coach and return to New Zealand after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The 52-year-old has won three Six Nations titles, two triple crowns and as many grand slams since being appointed in 2007.

Gatland guided injury-hit Wales to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in England and intends to step down when his contract expires following the next tournament in Japan.

He told Radio Sport in his homeland: “I am here until 2019, the plan then is to come home for a period.

“If I am then involved in Super Rugby or provincial rugby then great, or I may have to go to the beach for six months or 12 months, put my feet up and take a break.

“But that’s the plan. I have been away for long enough. I am 52 so hopefully I have plenty of years left coaching. But in 2019 the plan is definitely to come back to New Zealand.”

The former Ireland boss also revealed he would be open to coaching the British and Irish Lions for a second time for the tour of New Zealand in 2017, but believes it would be a tall order to mastermind a famous series win.

Gatland added: “Whoever agreed that schedule from a Lions point of view…well, it’s crazy.

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“I don’t see how you can win it. You are playing five Super Rugby sides, New Zealand Maori, three Tests and another game (against a Provincial Union XV), all in a five-week period, it’s so tough.

“Having been involved in South Africa and leading the Lions in Australia in 2013…it was a great experience.

“If I got offered the opportunity it’s probably something I could not turn down.

“If I did not get the chance, looking at how tough it is, it probably would not bother me, I would probably enjoy watching it as a spectator.”

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