Welsh Rugby Union Boss Comments On Warren Gatland’s Future

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Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips expects Warren Gatland to return to his Wales role after coaching British and Irish Lions in New Zealand this summer.

Gatland revealed last month that he rejected an approach from Super Rugby side Chiefs to take over from Dave Rennie in 2018. The kiwi is contracted with Wales until after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Phillips reinforced his belief Gatland will return, saying he “made it very clear his intention was to come back”.’ The WRU boss also does not expect any fall-out from the Lions tour that would affect the Wales camp.

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This is the second successive time Gatland has gotten the Lions job after a series win over Australia in 2013 and Phillips think this time will be no different.

“The reason Warren has got the Lions job twice and assistant once is that he is a very experienced leader in that space,” Phillips told Scrum V.

“So I would back him to manage the situation.”

Phillips also defended the decision to allow Rob Howley to join Gatland as part of the Lions set-up.

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Forwards coach Robin McBryde will be in charge of Wales’ June tour Tests against Tonga and Samoa, assisted by regional coaches Danny Wilson, Matt Sherratt, both of Cardiff Blues and Scarlets’ Stephen Jones.

“I think Warren and Rob will both benefit as coaches from the Lions experience,” added Phillips.

“I don’t think the South Sea Island tours will be hugely beneficial to them.

“Our belief was for Warren and Rob to go into the white-hot heat of a Lions tour will test and develop them.

“We genuinely have to give some coaches exposure so I am comfortable with that decision.”

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