Depicted as a clown in New Zealand, and now being compared to as Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho. In what has been a busy summer for Warren Gatland, the Kiwi-born coach has stated how he will return to coach Wales, as the Lions boss honours his contract from the WRU.
The 53-year-old is contracted with Wales until the end of the 2019 World Cup, and the Welsh boss will surely have the thought of reaching a final following semi-final and quarter-final defeats in the previous two campaigns.
Gatland’s success as Wales and Lions boss has seen his credentials continually rise, and the recent draw with New Zealand has added extra shine to what was already a very good rugby CV.
Such success has now led the rugby world to tip the Kiwi to manage the Lions for a third time in the series tour of South Africa in 2021.
Although Gatland currently remains loyal to Wales, he does not appear to be ruling out the thought of managing the British and Irish Lions for a third time:
“Eddie [Jones] has put his name forward hasn’t he [for the Lions role]?
“My focus is on Wales, for the autumn internationals and then looking towards the 2019 World Cup. I’m definitely finishing up there, unless they decide to get rid of me sooner!
“So after that I might just go to the beach and put my feet up for a while.
“But you never say never. If there’s a chat and opportunity to think about 2021, to do maybe the three as a head coach, to win two and draw one wouldn’t be a bad achievement.”
— Warren Gatland speaking to Sky Sports
Of course Gatland has every right to deserve such an honour for a third time; but, coaching the Lions should have a continual shake up; fresh ideas, and a constant new vision.
There has been talk of the Lions losing its ‘magic’, and Gatland himself played a part in devaluing the jersey – the ‘Geography Six’ being a prime example of this.
A new coach should therefore be at the forefront for the 2021 tour, with a new look on the Lions, and new approach as to how the tour is conducted in South Africa.