Departing Wales boss to coach Super Rugby Side Chiefs before the 2021 Lions tour

Warren Gatland will take over the Chiefs in his native New Zealand when his contract as Wales coach ends after the World Cup this autumn.

The 55-year-old is set to replace Colin Cooper who is stepping down.

He will coach the Chiefs in 2020, be released to take charge of the 2021 British & Irish Lions, and then is expected to return to Hamilton for two more seasons.

Gatland has been coaching in the northern hemisphere for close to three decades, holding roles with Connacht, Ireland, Wasps, Wales and the Lions.

In more than a decade with Wales, Gatland has won three Grand Slams, a further Six Nations championship and reached the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup.

The former Waikato hooker coached the Lions to a series win over Australia in 2013, a drawn series in New Zealand four years later and his stint next year will equal Sir Ian McGeechan's record as a three-time head coach.

"I am really excited about the opportunity to come back home," he said.

"The opportunity to come back as head coach of the Chiefs is something that I am really looking forward to. 

"The Chiefs are well known for the success they've had both on and off the field and the really loyal support they have from everyone within the Chiefs region.

Gatland returning to New Zealand could put him in line to coach the All Blacks.

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