New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew says Wales coach Warren Gatland is unlikely to be considered to succeed Steve Hansen as All Blacks coach because of his commitment to the British and Irish Lions.

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In an interview with New Zealand’s Radio Sport on Monday, Tew said it would be “impossible to coach the All Blacks and the Lions in a four-year period.”

Gatland, who will return to New Zealand after the Rugby World Cup to coach the Hamilton-based Chiefs on a four-year contract, has also signed to coach the Lions in South Africa in 2021.

The four-member panel which will choose Hansen’s successor won’t be named until after the All Blacks play Wales in Friday’s World Cup bronze medal match.

Tew said the new All Blacks coach would be named “before Christmas”.

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He said it was not necessary to accelerate the process after New Zealand’s World Cup semi-final loss to England on Saturday.

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While the panel would “reach out” to prospective applicants, all high performance coaches around the world know the All Blacks job is available and candidates would be “self-selecting”.

Japan coach Jamie Joseph, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster are considered frontrunners to take over from Hansen.

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