19 Oct 2010

Gats back with Wales after turning down Chiefs

7:58 am on 19 October 2010

The former Waikato coach Warren Gatland has revealed it was a tough decision turning down the Chiefs Super Rugby job for another four years with Wales.

Gatland's agreed a four-year extension to coach the Wales rugby team until the end of the 2015 World Cup.

He's been the most successful there since the current All Blacks mentor Graham Henry earned the title "the Great Redeemer" during his time with Wales and Gatland says he's really enjoying his time in charge.

He was the eighth coach since Henry left in 2002 but with his Six Nations and Triple Crown success on his first attempt in 2008, Gatland quickly surpassed Henry's achievements in the role.

Gatland was also one of the assistant coaches with the British and Irish Lions last year - the Lions have announced they'll break new ground in 2013, with a match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong ahead of their tour of Australia.

And Warren Gatland's also criticised a ruling by the English Premiership clubs to not release players until the last possible minute before next year's World Cup here, saying it could mean Welsh players miss out on the showpiece event.