Warren Gatland reveals ‘itch’ for return to coaching but rules out England role after Super Rugby stint

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Warren Gatland has admitted he already has the “itch” for his next coaching challenge.

The former Wales boss’ contract as rugby director at Super Rugby’s Chiefs runs until next year’s World Cup, leaving Gatland already with his eyes open on the next adventure.

The British and Irish Lions coach is mixing a speaking tour of Wales with Autumn Nations Series punditry, and took the time to join the Evening Standard Rugby Podcast this week.

Gatland ran the rule over his glittering coaching career along with host Lawrence Dallaglio and BT Sport presenter Sarra Elgan.

“I’ve kind of got the itch again now,” Gatland told the Evening Standard Rugby Podcast.

“My contract is with the New Zealand Rugby Union, I’m contracted to them with the Chiefs and that finishes round about World Cup time.

“I've never had an agent from a rugby perspective. I've always been a great believer in what will be will be, and I've done my own contracts and kind of thought: this is what I think I'm worth and what my value is.

“I haven't planned ahead. But look, to be honest, I've had a few approaches and couple from Japan and people talking and a couple of other teams as well, something will come along.

“So I'm not actively looking, I haven't got someone out there looking for me and stuff. But I'm not worried about that and I know the right thing will come along and float my boat and I'll be excited about it.”

The 59-year-old has not lost any of his desire to coach at the top level, and could easily now end up back in the northern hemisphere come September next year.

Gatland joked he would never be allowed “back across the Severn Bridge” if he took the reins with England however.

Eddie Jones’ England opened their four-Test autumn run with a 30-29 loss to Argentina at Twickenham, leaving Gatland feeling the Red Rose side could seek to put greater shape on their media strategy.

“What I always tried to do in Wales and I found this to be really powerful, was to control the narrative,” said Gatland.

"To let people know what you're thinking, what my plan is for these campaigns coming up on the next campaign. And I can't see that with England.

“I think that there's a campaign and there's a change and then ‘we're going do this and we're going do that’. And I'm looking from the outside, not a 100 per cent sure what the plan is.

“Letting people know what you’re doing and what your plan is, I think it can be a really powerful message and I’m not sure that’s always been the case.”

The Evening Standard Rugby Podcast, in partnership with Fuller’s London Pride, is a weekly podcast that launched in 2021.

London Pride are the Official Beer of Premiership Rugby and the weekly podcast is now back with BT Sport Rugby presenter Sarra Elgan joining the team as regular presenter alongside Dallaglio.