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Gatland returning to NZ in 2017: report

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/12/2016

Warren Gatland will quit his post as Welsh rugby coach next year and return home to New Zealand according to a UK media report.

The Daily Mail reports Gatland will stay in New Zealand after the British and Irish Lions tour in June and July next year. He is head coach of the Lions for the second time.

The 53-year-old former All Black, who took charge of Wales in 2007, would need to cut short a lucrative six-year extension he signed in 2013 to take him through to the next World Cup in Japan.

Gatland is currently on an extended sabbatical from the Welsh role, allowing him to concentrate on the Lions.

His wife and two children have remained in New Zealand throughout his Welsh tenure and he has spoken previously about the hardship of coping without them.

Gatland's son Bryn, 21, was a key member of the North Harbour team who won the NPC Championship division this year.

The Daily Mail reported that Gatland had told close friends of his plans.

It said former Wales prop Dai Young, the director of rugby at London club Wasps, was being lined up to replace Gatland.

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