Warren Gatland has insisted he isn’t sitting in Hamilton plotting how to become the All Blacks coach. The long-serving Wales and Lions boss has returned to work in New Zealand in 2020 as coach of the Super Rugby Chiefs.
He will take a sabbatical from that position in 2021 in order to coach the Lions on their eagerly awaited tour to South Africa, but he will then return to the Waikato-based franchise and take charge for the 2022 and 2023 Super Rugby campaigns.
Being in the system locally suggests Gatland is a prime candidate if the All Blacks job does become vacant. However, he has insisted he isn’t specifically planning for that to happen even though new coach Ian Foster is currently only contracted through to the end of 2022 after taking over from Steve Hansen following the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Speaking on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series hosted by Jim Hamilton, the former Wasps and Ireland coach explained: “I have never been one for planning my future. I’m a great believer in what will be will be and opportunities will come along.
“I’m not sitting here and thinking about what do I have to do over the next few years to be the All Black coach. Definitely not. It’s a day-to-day thing and wherever you go, if you are successful then opportunities come along.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 13, 2020
“I have been lucky enough that I have been successful with teams in the past and if you are successful, then someone comes knocking on your door and it gives you an opportunity if you want to take an opportunity.
“That is kind of the way that I’m looking at that over the next few years. It’s not about wanting to be the All Black coach.
“I have to do the best I can for the remainder of this season (with the Chiefs), the Lions becomes really important going to South Africa playing against the world champions, and then a couple of more years contract with the Chiefs back in New Zealand in Super Rugby.
“If I am successful then potentially other offers will come along, but it is definitely not a burning desire, it’s not a plan, a road that I am trying to take and how do I position myself to do it.
“It’s a result of you doing the best job that you can in the moment and if you do that then other things potentially come along.”
The 2009 Lions king nominates who is likely to lead next year https://t.co/dsT6AXirif
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 5, 2020
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