Warren Gatland to remain with Wales until 2019
December 16, 2013
Warren Gatland has signed a new contract that will keep him as Wales coach until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Gatland was originally appointed on a four-year deal in 2007, and that was extended by another four years in 2010 and was due to expire after the next World Cup. The announcement comes a day after he was named Coach of the Year at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year event.
"He 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," said WRU chief executive, Roger Lewis. "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. The contract we have negotiated contains a significant element which is based on success and we are all working towards the same goal."
Gatland said he has decided to remain in Wales because of the confidence he has in the players and the structure that he has helped to build. "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 WRU, the national squad now has the means to deliver what the Welsh public want."
Lewis confirmed that if Gatland was required by the British Lions in 2017 the WRU would grant him a sabbatical as it did for the Lions' victorious tour of Australia this year.
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