Wales coach Warren Gatland has denied planning to quit his Wales role after next summer’s Lions tour, according to a leading New Zealand sports website.
According to Newshub.co.nz, Gatland says the Daily Mail’s article claiming the Hamilton-born coach was the ‘first I’ve heard of that.”
He also added:
“Is that the same people who’s saying that James Haskell is dead?”
The Wales head coach’s contract does not run out until the end of the next Rugby World Cup in 2019, so any attempt by Gatland to leave his position having been granted another year long sabbatical in preparation for his Lions role – a privilege the WRU handed to their man back in 2013 as well – would come as a shock to the country’s governing body.
The Daily Mail also reported that Wasps coach Dai Young would be the preferred candidate by the WRU, but Wales Online say they understand the governing body is totally surprised at the revelation in the Mail.
Gatland’s time in charge in recent seasons has let to a great divide in opinion amongst Welsh supporters, with some not keen on losing their man and others wanting to see a new set-up introduced after almost a decade of Gatland being in command.
Regardless, such rumours will prove an unwelcome distraction to Gatland, his coaches and the makeshift Wales coaching team put in place to see the side through the Six Nations in the New Zealander’s absence.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena
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