Wales head coach Warren Gatland has signed a new deal that will see him remain in charge until after the 2019 World Cup.
The New Zealander, who was appointed in 2007, will become the first coach to take Wales to three World Cups, having already taken charge of their 2011 campaign, and with his contract now covering the 2015 and 2019 competitions.
It caps an excellent few weeks for Gatland, who has recently been awarded BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year, as well as the Wales Sport Awards’ Coach of the Year. He also won UK Coach of the Year at the Sports Coach UK Awards.
Gatland said of the announcement: “I am proud and delighted to have been chosen by the Welsh Rugby Union to take charge of Wales teams for the next two Rugby World Cup tournaments. I have chosen to stay in Wales because of my confidence in the players we have, the coaching structures we have developed and the succession plan of talent we now constantly update. I know the other major rugby nations take us seriously as opponents who can play excellent rugby and that inspires me to take this group of players even further.
“There is an incredible amount of hard work ahead but, with the backing of the Welsh Rugby Union, the national squad now has the means to deliver what the Welsh public want. We have strong support systems, the international player pathway structure and the WRU National Centre of Excellence is a fantastic facility. Our best players now get developed within a totally professional structure and the backroom team we have in place boasts some of the best people around in their areas of expertise.
“I want to personally thank the WRU and the Welsh rugby public for the fantastic support the national squad enjoys and I aim to return the compliment by devoting all my professional energy to the success of our national team in the years ahead. I am looking forward to the challenge and I am extremely proud of the honour I have in taking Wales into the next two Rugby World Cups.”
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