'You can't get rid of me': Warren Gatland plans to take Wales to next Rugby World Cup

  • In a press conference Warren Gatland joked about his contract.

Warren Gatland has confirmed he will stay in his role as Wales head coach following his side's Rugby World Cup exit last Saturday.

He said: "I’m excited about what we can start doing with the group.

"We’ve got an opportunity to bring in some youngsters coming and going to build on the new cycle getting to 2027."

Wales departed France after losing 29-17 in a Marseille quarter-final against Argentina.

Just days after their return home, Gatland has been reflecting on the loss, saying he's "really proud" of where his side has come from and their "achievements as a group".

He is still very disappointed about the Argentinian result, saying "I thought it was a game, particularly in the first half, we probably should have put them away."

Gatland acknowledged the opposition "out kicked us" adding it was a "territory game" - with Wales "missing a few line outs, too many turnovers as well".

He felt his side had "progressed really well" - but "just didn't match" the Pumas and said "on reflection, this is where we are at the moment."

Warren Gatland intends to spend the next four years preparing Wales for the the Rugby World Cup in 2027.

He joked about how he had been asked after the Argentina game, about 'what was next?' for him and he recalled a conversation he had with Nigel Walker, WRU Executive Director of Rugby.

He told the press conference that he had said to him: "You can’t get rid of me, because I think the contract said that if we didn’t get out of the pool - then they had a clause that they could get rid of me.

Warren Gatland joked about his contract and recalled a conversation he had with Nigel Walker, WRU Executive Director of Rugby. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

"But I did say if you do want to pay me off then that’s up to you."

Building "closer relationships with the regions" is a priority for Gatland, he acknowledged that it had been "difficult in the past" due to "changes of coaches".

He spoke about relationships being "quite fractured, not from a coaching perspective, but because there were sometimes things that were going on between the regions and the unions and we got dragged in to those sorts of things."

In terms of his succession plan - Gatland admits they are a little bare at 10 (jersey number) and is hoping to see some new talent coming through the regions.

He said: "We might have to throw them in at the deep end, international level to expose them earlier rather than later. So those are the things we are potentially thinking about."

Sam Costelow has impressed, he got name-checked during today's press conference with the Wales manager saying he is going to be an "outstanding international player."

He added: "He has still got a lot of learnings to do but the amount of work that he put in his game in South Africa - I was really impressed with him."

When asked if he intends to revert back to one captain, after introducing the co-captaincy for the World Cup, Gatland said he "hadn't thought further ahead".

He praised Dewi Lake and Jac Morgan, describing them as "not just two young captains - but two quality men".

He felt both did an "outstanding job" with the aim that they both could support each other in the role. Gatland also found himself questioning after the World Cup, the '6, 7 (jersey number) combination.'

He said: "That was quite a big debate amongst us coaches. But particularly from Jac's point of view I thought he was if not one of the best 7s in the World Cup and we took him away from that and put him in the 6 (jersey number) role.

"But the sort of person he is, he was comfortable to do that.

"I saw some huge growth in him as a captain and as a player in the last five or six weeks and I think him as a captain is only going to get better."

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