Warren Gatland signs four-year deal with the Chiefs in New Zealand

Ross Houston
June 28, 2019

"I am really excited about the opportunity to come back home‚" Gatland said.

The Chiefs, who have reached the Super Rugby playoffs in each of the last two seasons, have a large fund of talented young backs whose skills would likely be stifled under such a forward-oriented approach. They're not going into the unknown, they can see the coach has been successful, that he gets the best out of players and it makes you more decisive in your decision.

Gatland will be coach for three of those four seasons, skipping the 2021 campaign because of his head coaching commitments with the British & Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa.

Warren Gatland has signed a four-year deal to become head coach of the Chiefs in New Zealand.

Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins added: "Warren is a world-class coach who boasts a proven track record".

The former All Black coached Waikato province from 2005 to 2007 and was a technical adviser at the Chiefs in 2006 and 2007 before heading to Britain to coach Wales.

Cooper said he was standing down for "family reasons" but his departure followed Gatland's announcement in Britain that he hoped to return to New Zealand to take up a Super Rugby coaching role.

The Chiefs were more than happy to offer Warren Gatland a gap year if it meant they could secure the signature of a coach with few peers in world rugby.

"The New Zealand Rugby Union have not often given too much leniency when it involves helping the rest of the world". Gatland has enjoyed success throughout his lengthy career and has already made it clear he has no interest in coaching England's national team. "He will continue to build on the work Colin Cooper and his team management have achieved in maintaining a sustainable high-performance environment for the Club", said Collins.

Radio Sport report that Gatland will take over as coach for 2020 before returning in 2022 and 2023. Gatland guided Wales to the World Cup semi-final in 2011, before winning a second Grand Slam in 2012, a prelude to his appointment as Lions coach in September that year.

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