Gatland rules out future England task after being confirmed as Lions coach

By Chris Jones

BBC rugby union reporter


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I can assure you 100%I will not be training England – Gatland

Warren Gatland has actually categorically ruled out succeeding Eddie Jones as England coach and plans to return to his native New Zealand after leading the British and Irish Lions in2021

Gatland was validated on Wednesday as Lions boss for the tour of South Africa, his 3rd in charge.

He says he then plans to return house, and anticipates Jones to extend his stay at Twickenham.

” I can assure you 100%I won’t be training England,” he informed BBC Sport.

” My understanding is Eddie is going to re-sign isn’t he for a bit longer.

” My future is going to be the 2019 World Cup [with Wales], look at a few things in between, and then the start of my [Lions] role in August 2020.

” I’ll focus 100%on the Lions for those 12 months and then hopefully have a chance to go back to New Zealand and select up something and after that take it from there.”

Gatland has actually been training in the northern hemisphere for the very best part of thirty years, and has held functions with Connacht, Ireland, Wasps, in addition to his existing position with Wales.

But he prepares to call an end to his stint in Europe after the Lions trip, and has eyed up a job in Super Rugby.

” I would like to be involved with Super Rugby and to challenge myself with that,” he included.

” I wish to go back. I have been head coach with Waikato and won a champion there, and I desire to challenge myself with Super Rugby.”

Gatland led Wales to their 4th Six Countries championship this year

In March, England coach Jones ensured he would not be considered for a Lions position, stating the role is an “ambassador job” and he did not want to “spend 8 weeks in a sports jacket”.

” I don’t know how you might coach a Lions group in a blazer,” said Gatland.

” I was bemused by that. It is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do as a coach.

” Seeing how difficult those other coaches dealt with the last trip, with guys down in the team room at 7, eight in the morning up until nine, 10 at night, planning and preparing as well as training two groups two times a day, getting all set for matches – it is the hardest thing.

” Whether that was a subtle method for him to rule himself out of contention or not, I do not know.”

Lions Job – ‘Best in the world’

Soon after the trip of New Zealand, Gatland mentioned he was “done” with the Lions, stung by an “orchestrated campaign” of criticism from the Kiwi media.

However, he firmly insists coaching the Lions is the very best job worldwide, and says he would have been sorry for not seizing the day to resume the function.

” When I thought of what the Lions meant to me personally, it would have been hard to say no,” he said.

” The approach came and I thought to lead 3 Lions tour and to try and go undefeated as a head coach in a Test series, I couldn’t walk away from that.”

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