Warren Gatland has once again addressed the questionable treatment he received from the New Zealand media during last summer’s Lions tour.
Having coached the Lions through a drawn Test series against the All Blacks last summer, Warren Gatland recently admitted that he had hated the experience and would not subject himself to another tour.
“I’m done and I wouldn’t subject myself to that.”
“I hated the tour. I did. I just hated the press and the negativity in New Zealand.”
Gatland received some shocking criticism during his time in New Zealand with one publication publishing a picture of the coach dressed up as a clown.
Now, as the 54-year-old prepares to lead his Welsh side into a clash with the All Blacks this weekend, Gatland has once again spoken about the media treatment he received during his most recent Lions experience, even stating that there are certain members of the press that he ‘would like to get into a corner of a room’.
“I was surprised by it,” Gatland said. “Some people might have said that was me being naive. I hadn’t expected personal criticism from day one but that’s passed. It made me strong, it made me more resilient, it made me want to fight harder.”
“If there’s criticism of me this week, I won’t be responding to it because there’s no point, you can’t win. At some stage I’ll probably be dressed up as a clown again this week.”
“There was some pretty underhanded stuff going on. It was challenging.”
“There are one or two people I would like to get into a corner of a room on their own with me.’
“But that might wait for another day.”
Gatland also went on to address the perceived rivalry between himself and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, claiming that for the most part, the feud was media generated and that he has a huge amount of respect for the New Zealand boss.
“People try to make a lot of stuff about myself and Steve, but from my point of view there are no issues between us,” Gatland said.
“I have a huge amount of respect for what he has achieved in the game, and the success he has had as an All Black coach. He has been absolutely outstanding.
“I look forward to catching up with him on Saturday, having a beer after the game.
“In recent years on a couple of occasions we have gone out as two management groups for meals during the week.
“We all understand the pressures we are under, but they are not as a result of our relationship.”
Wales will take on the All Blacks this Saturday at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.