Warren Gatland set to become Chiefs head coach in Super Rugby

Warren Gatland will reportedly replace Colin Cooper as Chiefs coach with a break to lead the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

He will return to the region after Colin Cooper resigned as Chiefs head coach following their Super Rugby quarter-final defeat to Los Jaguares last weekend.

Gatland, who was a technical advisor for the Chiefs in 2006, spent his entire playing career with Waikato and had a two-year stint as coach prior to taking charge of Wales in 2007.

Earlier this month he was unveiled as the Lions coach for the South Africa trip, but before that he will join the Kiwi Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs - in his home province of Waikato - on a four year deal.

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The Lions hierarchy are believed to be supportive of Gatland's move, and feel he will be able to sharpen his coaching skills as well as gathering first-hand information on South African opposition. He was confirmed in the role for the third time after leading the Lions in Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and 2017 respectively.

The 55-year-old is standing down as Wales coach after 12 years once their Rugby World Cup campaign concludes in Japan later this year.

Returning to the New Zealand system could also put Gatland firmly in the frame to eventually take charge of the All Blacks.

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