Wales coach Warren Gatland extends contract until 2019
Wales coach Warren Gatland signs a new contract to remain in charge until after the 2019 World Cup
Warren Gatland has signed a contract extension to remain in charge of Wales until after the 2019 World Cup.
Gatland took charge in December 2007 and led Wales to 2008 and 2012 Grand Slams, before taking a sabbatical to guide the 2013 British and Irish Lions to a 2-1 series win over Australia.
I have chosen to stay in Wales because of my confidence in the players we have
The 50-year-old will become the longest serving coach of Wales during next year’s Six Nations tournament.
Gatland said: “I am proud and delighted to have been chosen by the Welsh Rugby Union to take charge of Wales teams for the next two Rugby World Cup tournaments.
“I have chosen to stay in Wales because of my confidence in the players we have, the coaching structures we have developed and the succession plan of talent we now constantly update.
“I know the other major rugby nations take us seriously as opponents who can play excellent rugby and that inspires me to take this group of players even further.
“There is an incredible amount of hard work ahead but, with the backing of the Welsh Rugby Union, the national squad now has the means to deliver what the Welsh public want.”
The New Zealander’s new contract came within 24 hours of him being named BBC Sports Personality coach of 2013 for his Lions success.
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis added: “He [Gatland] has undoubtedly proved that he has the rugby expertise, the passion and the commitment to prepare and inspire our teams to play with the utmost skill and pride for the jersey.
“We now have a meticulous and professional coaching structure in place which Warren must take credit for creating.
“By signing him for a further four years we have ensured that the systems now in place will continue to develop for the future of the international game in Wales.”