Chiefs pay offer just not enough for Gatland

ANGELA CUMING
Last updated 05:00 24/08/2012
Warren Gatland
ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post
PAY OFFER NOT ENOUGH: Warren Gatland came close to returning to New Zealand rugby after the 2011 World Cup, it has been revealed.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Sharks miss out on home semifinal Lions maul Cheetahs in Johannesburg cat-fight Randell: Hammett has failed for the Hurricanes Wilson: Canes' era of Hammer came up short Top-of-table Waratahs smash fumbling Reds Forwards lead Crusaders to an easy victory Blues coach Sir John Kirwan feels the pressure Australian Rugby 'caught with its pants down' Bulls thrash Melbourne Rebels at Loftus Versfeld Chiefs battle in rain, seal Super playoffs spot

Warren Gatland came close to returning to New Zealand rugby after the 2011 World Cup, it has been revealed.

Speaking at Monday night's Waikato University public lecture series, the Wales coach said it was a "toss of the coin".

He had been offered a coaching position with the Chiefs, but the negotiations stalled and ultimately failed over the issue of money.

"I nearly made the decision after the World Cup [to return to New Zealand] and it was a toss of the coin. I was going to come back and I had been offered the Chiefs job and New Zealand made me an offer of a contract," Gatland said.

He said the issue was not about competing with the money that Wales had offered him, which was "about four or five times the difference".

"I went back to New Zealand and I said to them: ‘Look, it's not about the money but I am finding it a little bit difficult to accept the contract, is there a chance of any movement on it'?"

When the Chiefs asked why, Gatland said they were offering him less money than he had been on in 2007.

"[I told them] ‘Well, you have offered me less money than I was on in 2007 when I was coaching Waikato and was involved with the Chiefs, to coach the Chiefs in 2012'."

Gatland said he asked the Chiefs if there was any chance they could improve their offer.

"[And] they just said: ‘Things are tight at the moment, the economy is not great' and they said ‘that's the best we can do, take it or leave it'."

Gatland said he came close to coming home.

"If they had have moved 10 or 15 thousand I would have said ‘okay, that's great . . . you've moved a little bit' and I would have taken the Chiefs job and [instead] they just said ‘take it or leave it' and I said ‘thanks very much, I'll leave it'.

"So that's what happened."

It is unclear what role Gatland would have taken with the franchise, as current coach Dave Rennie had been signed on a two-year contract in April 2011.

Gatland re-signed with the Welsh Rugby Union before the 2011 World Cup.

In October, Wales Rugby Union boss Roger Lewis said Gatland was signed to a "watertight" contract until 2015 and he did not want him going anywhere after the World Cup.

Lewis said there had been discussions between the WRU and Gatland about the "huge commitment" they had made to Gatland, and vice-versa.

Gatland also revealed he still harbours a burning desire to coach the All Blacks.

Ad Feedback

- Waikato Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where should Super Rugby's 18th franchise be based?

Japan. The country has a real rugby history

Singapore. You have to factor in travel demands

Here's a novel idea. How about somewhere in the Pacific?

Auckland's big enough for a second franchise

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content