You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Gatland turned down Chiefs offer to return

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/12/2016

Warren Gatland says he turned down an approach to replace Dave Rennie as coach of Super Rugby side the Chiefs.

Responding to a report he is considering a return to New Zealand next year, Gatland said he wouldn't do so until his Wales contract expires after the 2019 World Cup.

He said he was so committed to the Welsh that he declined an offer to coach the Chiefs in 2018 after Rennie has ended a six-year reign.

"The Chiefs spoke to me about three months ago but I told them it was a non-starter until my contract runs out with Wales," Gatland told Wales Online.

"I told the Chiefs I would be interested after 2019 but there's no way I would leave Wales or the Lions now."

Former Waikato and All Blacks hooker Gatland was a technical director at the Chiefs for two seasons before beginning his Wales tenure in 2007.

The 53-year-old has taken a season-long sabbatical from his job as Wales head coach to prepare for the Lions' three-Test series in New Zealand in June.

Maori All Blacks coach Colin Cooper, who was in charge of the Hurricanes for eight seasons, has been linked with the Chiefs role.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon