Warren Gatland "hated" the Lions tour of New Zealand and blames what he claims was an orchestrated campaign by local media to unsettle him.

The coach has revealed he was especially unhappy at coverage surrounding the British and Irish Lions' clash against his son Bryn's side.

He pinpointed a particular New Zealand Herald story that had upset him: a preview of the opening game where his son lined up for the Barbarians in Whangarei. The story was headlined "Gatland v Gatland".

"I felt there was a certain element that there was negativity... hearing some of stories that were written," he told Radio Sport Breakfast.


"If you go back and read some of the stories, people contacted me and let's say they were disappointed by some of the stuff that was written. That kind of put stuff into perspective.

"I was so excited as a Kiwi coming back to New Zealand playing the best team in the world in their own backyard. I was really looking forward to it but what surprised me was certain elements of negativity in the press. That kind of threw me a little bit.

"I can give you an example - the day before the first game against the Barbarians the headline in the New Zealand Herald was 'Gatland to target Barbarians' weakness - his son'. I thought it was a disgusting sort of headline. [I was] gutted by that."

Read the Gatland v Gatland story here

"To me there was almost like an orchestrated campaign from day one by certain elements to try and unsettle me. So that was definitely challenging.

"I've got to say the hospitality we had in New Zealand was unbelievable, the welcomes we had. I thought the games, in terms of the atmospheres, were incredible. Both sets of fans really took to that.

"Those sorts of things were memorable but, like I said, to start with as a Kiwi, I was so excited about leading the Lions coming to New Zealand and was really looking forward to that."

However the veteran coach has found a few silver linings in the clouds that descended over his experience of leading the British and Irish Lions around his homeland this year - and he says he still wants to coach a Super rugby team.

Gatland was on the warpath this week, hitting out at the New Zealand media over the tour coverage.

The former All Black hooker and Waikato stalwart also had Lions flanker Sean O'Brien and England forward Billy Vunipola in his sights over post-tour comments.

Gatland told Radio Sport Breakfast host Kent Johns that timing was everything when it came to the limited number of top coaching jobs in New Zealand.

But if everything fell into place, he would like to find a Super Rugby job after he takes Wales to the 2019 World Cup in Japan, and any All Black aspirations would depend on how that turned out.

Gatland is planning a six-month break at home after the 2019 World Cup.

"I'll come home, go to the beach, see what opportunities there are in Super Rugby. You've got to be in the right place at the right time in New Zealand," he said.

"Perhaps if there is nothing in New Zealand, maybe I'll be back in the UK, France or Japan. I'm a great believer in what will be will be.

"If there is an opportunity to get involved in Super Rugby and you are successful, other things open up for you. I promise you, there is not a strategy in place to coach the All Blacks.

"Hopefully there is a chance to come back home having been away for a significant amount of time."

Gatland has one of the great Lions coaching records, having won in Australia and drawn a series in New Zealand.

On his decision never to coach them again, he said: "You're only appointed as a Lions coach one year out from the tour so once that tour was finished I was no longer the Lions coach anyway.

"It's like everything. You get asked to apply for the position and that would be the same for whoever is doing that in three years' time."