Wales coach Warren Gatland has revealed he would 'love' to coach a Super Rugby team following the rugby World Cup in 2019.

Gatland has two years left to run on his contract following an 11-year stint with Wales and told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch that he would like to move back to New Zealand post World Cup.

"I'm finishing with Wales after the World Cup in 2019 and will take a break for a few months, but I would love to do Super Rugby," Gatland told Veitch. "There are not a lot of big jobs in rugby and you have to be in the right place at the right time, but if that opportunity came along to do Super Rugby in 2020 or 2021 that would be great."

Gatland said he expects All Blacks assistant Ian Foster to be named All Blacks coach when Steve Hansen steps down in 2019, but wouldn't reveal his level of interest in the role.


"I've never said I wanted to be an All Blacks coach. But I think you need to come back and be involved in Super Rugby first, and that's what I would like to do. That would be the natural progression. And if you are successful that's how these things work.

"With the Lions it wasn't something I actively chased, people knock on your door and ask if you want to be involved. With the Lions, or any big team, it can be hard to say no, and that's usually how these things work.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland during his press conference in Wellington before the second test against New Zealand. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland during his press conference in Wellington before the second test against New Zealand. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

"If I come back in 2019 and take six months off and go lay on the beach and no one comes knocking at my door, then I'll stay at the beach."

Gatland described the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand as 'a bit of everything', bit admitted it was the biggest year of his coaching career.

"I learnt a lot from the tour. From my point of view, I was a bit naive. I came thinking of this romantic view that it could be great for the Lions with their history, to take on these great All Blacks champions - and that rugby would do all the talking along with great games and great atmosphere.

"We got a lot of that but we got all the controversy too."

Gatland said the NZ Maori match, which the Lions won 32-10, was their easiest game of the tour.

"Because they had only had 10 days prep they found it tough - and I thought well, welcome to our world. People were talking about that game being the fourth test, but it wasn't. That's putting into context how tough the tour was. The schedule was tough but in hindsight what we achieved was pretty special."

In the hour-long interview, Gatland made a number of other observations:
If New Zealand and England played today who would win?
"I think the ABs would just edge it at the moment, just based on the amount of depth they have. They have the finance, resources, playing numbers, they can handle three or four injuries better than England could."

Who were the coaches that inspired you the most?
"Three coaches had a real impact on me; Glenn Ross at Waikato, Kevin Greene and my first All Blacks coach Alex Wyllie, I learnt a lot about myself with him."

Who is the best All Black at the moment?
"Aaron Smith is back to his best, and he doesn't shut up on the rugby field. I would love to get his GPS numbers. The refs enjoy him as a player because he is so good at telling his players when to leave the ball, stop, get away, he helps the ref. He's pretty special."

"Beauden was a little quieter than he was 12 months ago. Teams have realised what a threat he is, they ha vent' worked him out as such but they know how to handle him better. They're able to negate his running game. A player who comes on and is such a threat in different areas, teams practice preparing for that. And Ioane is a bit of a freak, an incredible 20 year old."