Warren Gatland

Gatland turns down All Blacks for Lions, Chiefs

Gatland told The Telegraph that he was one of the 26 New Zealanders in the running to be the next All Blacks head coach, vacated by Steve Hansen after the World Cup, but he's chosen to stick with his commitment to lead the Lions to South Africa in 2021 instead.

"They (NZR) appreciated it, they understood it," Gatland said. "I just think it would look poor me applying [for the All Blacks job]. It wouldn't sit well with me, having already made those commitments to the other two parties."

He said he also wanted to remain faithful to the Chiefs, who he signed with in June.

NZR dismisses Gatland

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is set to step down after Friday's third-place match against Wales in Tokyo after the two-time defending world champions were stunned by England in the semi-final.

Gatland is also poised to depart Wales following 12 years in charge as he prepares to coach the Lions in South Africa in 2021, while he has also signed on to lead Super Rugby outfit the Chiefs on a four-year deal.

Tew, who will also vacate his position at the end of the year, poured cold water on the prospect of the 56-year-old New Zealander replacing Hansen.

Eddie Jones burns Gatland over barbed comment ahead of World Cup final

Gatland was speaking after his team had been beaten 19-16 by South Africa, who now face Jones’s men on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 showpiece.

Meanwhile, Wales face the All Blacks in the bronze final 24 hours earlier – which was Gatland’s last match as boss.

“Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off?” Jones said at a press conference.

Gatland backs Jones as next Lions coach

"He'd do a great job as Lions coach. 3-0 would be expected. It's probably the easiest of the three tours isn't it?" Gatland said after naming his Wales side to face Jones' England in the Six Nations on Sunday.

Gatland coached the last two Lions tours to Australia in 2013 and his native New Zealand last year but says Australian Jones is the best man to handle the next one.

"I'm learning from him. He's doing a great job so I'm watching him pretty closely," Gatland added.

Gatland has a warning for English Rugby

Players from around the globe have been attracted to play in England's Premiership as a result of the large amounts of money being offered.

But Gatland told The Rugby Paper allowing foreign players to shine could ultimately be at the expense of the national side.

"You can understand people doing the best for their clubs and competitions, but you have to look at the bigger picture. What drives rugby globally is the international game. They're the things we need to consider and protect," he said.

Gatland cost us series - O'Brien

The Irish flanker said the team was over-trained ahead of the first test, which the All Blacks won 30-15, and the drawn third test.

"To be honest, I'd be pretty critical of it because I think we should have won the tour and we probably should have won it comfortably," O'Brien said in an interview with OffTheBall.com.

Lions unchanged for All Blacks decider

After being comfortably beaten in the first Test, Gatland made changes for the second match and it brought the desired result as the tourists recorded a 24-21 win.

And they will all get the chance to finish the job at Eden Park after the Lions coach named an unchanged squad.

That means Sam Warburton will again lead the Lions, with Maro Itoje and Alun Wyn Jones set to renew their outstanding partnership in the second row.

Your Lions to face @AllBlacks in the series decider are...

Gatland concerned by targeting of Lions scrum-half Murray

Murray's box kicking has been an effective weapon throughout his career but Gatland felt the Ireland number nine took some unnecessarily rough treatment as he put boot to ball from the base of rucks and scrums during the All Black's 30-15 victory on Saturday.

Speaking at a news conference, Lions coach Gatland said: "The one concern for me was, a couple of times from Conor Murray, there was a charge-down where someone dived at his legs which was a little bit dangerous.

Gatland questions All Blacks' bench

Both coaches sprung surprises in naming their starting XVs for the eagerly anticipated clash at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday.

The inclusion of fit-again Kieran Read ahead of Ardie Savea was to be expected, but Steve Hansen has also opted for Ryan Crotty and Rieko Ioane at outside centre and left wing respectively, taking the places of Anton Lienert-Brown and try-machine Julian Savea.

"I'm not sure, looking at their bench, that it is as strong as it has been in the past," Gatland said of the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup winners.

Crusaders game holds huge implications for Lions

The visitors delivered an unconvincing win against the semi-professional Provincial Barbarians in their opening game and on Wednesday lost to the Blues, New Zealand's worst-performing Super Rugby side this season.

The Crusaders always loomed as the toughest opponents of the opening 10 days and Gatland has decided to field what appears to be the strongest Lions side yet in a bid avoid what would be a dispiriting second defeat so early on the tour.