Warren Gatland is hoping to win a dinner and a few glasses of red in his latest battle with his archest of rivals, England coach Eddie Jones. The pair were involved in a number of spicy verbal exchanges when the last four years of Gatland’s Wales reign coincided with Jones’ involvement with the English.

ADVERTISEMENT

The pair’s match rivalry is now over after Gatland, the 2021 Lions coach, finished up at Wales following the 2019 World Cup and moved back to New Zealand to coach the Super Rugby Chiefs.  

However, Gatland and Jones have now taken their competitiveness with each other to the book store where their respective autobiographies have been shortlisted for the Rugby Book Of The Year 2020 award by The Telegraph.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
Lions coach Warren Gatland guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

Pride and Passion is Gatland’s vivid chronicle of an extraordinary three decades at rugby’s dynamic coal-face while Jones’ My Life and Rugby tells his story for the first time, including the full inside account of England’s recent World Cup final campaign.

The winner in the category will be revealed on July 15 and Gatland used his appearance this week on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series with Jim Hamilton, to set the scene ahead of that announcement.

“He is a great competitor,” said Gatland of Jones. “We understand sometimes the media make a mountain out of a molehill of things that we might say. We have been out for dinner a number of times and we realise it is a game sometimes, it’s part of the sport. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“If one of the books happens to be lucky enough to win and get the accolade, then the other one will have to buy him dinner and maybe a couple of glasses of red wine as well. 

“Look, he is very much like me in terms of he has been with England for a while now and signed up for the next World Cup, he would have learnt in each campaign a lot about the experiences that he has been through. 

“I’m sure he has learnt a lot from what happened to them in the World Cup and he will get better for that, and England as a squad will be better for that as well.

“There is definitely a lot of rivalry between us but I’d like to think there is a huge amount of respect too in terms what we have both achieved in the game.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m a reasonably private person,” added Gatland, reflecting on the process of telling his life story in his book. “There is a lot of people out there that have a perception of me, which is fine, where I’m seen as an uncompromising person.

“I don’t have a problem with that, but the people that know me know that I’m a lot different from the persona that people portray me as.”

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now