Warren Gatland is keeping an eye on a possible Super Rugby role in New Zealand as he weighs up his future.

The British and Irish Lions coach will finish his long spell in charge of Wales after this year’s Rugby World Cup and will be in high demand. However, he is tempted by a return to his homeland.

“There is nothing concrete,” Gatland told The Times. “Maybe at the end of the World Cup I’ll be unemployed.

“I was looking to take a few months off and then start looking in the middle of 2020, potentially do some Super Rugby in New Zealand if there was an opportunity.

“But I am also aware that there are not a lot of jobs in New Zealand.

“That might not be an option. So it’s whether it is back in club rugby in the Premiership or France or Japan or something like that.”

The only possible head coaching role available in 2020 could be at the Crusaders.

Scott Robertson is off contract at the end of this year and might apply for the All Blacks job or head overseas, an option he has spoken about before.

However, if Robertson re-signs Gatland would either have to accept a different role at a Super Rugby franchise, take time off, or target another overseas posting.

Gatland also defended his Welsh record against southern hemisphere teams, arguing that Six Nations success was more of a focus.

“This is the competition we really focus on,” he told The Times. “We’re in no doubt that during my tenure we’re disappointed we haven’t had more success against southern-hemisphere teams, but that hasn’t always been our focus.

“It has been on the Six Nations and doing well there, where history and points and pride are at stake. I think we’ll do well in this Six Nations.”

The former Waikato hooker was also in no doubt that Wales has regained respect during his tenure, saying there was “no way” the All Blacks would put out a second-choice team against them now as they had done in the past.

 “I take a lot of pride in the fact we go out there and it doesn’t matter who we play, they know they’re in for one hell of a tough game,” Gatland said.

“I’ve watched and been to a number of games at the old Millennium Stadium and seen the All Blacks put out a second-string team against Wales. There is no way they would do that now.

 

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