New All Blacks coach welcome at the Chiefs, says Warren Gatland

Whoever is named as the All Blacks' new coach later this year, incoming Chiefs boss Warren Gatland and his staff will be there to lend a hand where possible.

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Gatland says he'll help out the next All Blacks boss in whatever way he can. Source: 1 NEWS

Returning to New Zealand after 12 years with Wales, Gatland has never been in the race to take over as All Blacks coach with his commitment to coach the British and Irish Lions in 2021 ruling out any involvement until after then.

With the Gatland out of contention to replace Steve Hansen, the new All Blacks coach is now a two-horse race between Ian Foster and Scott Robertson.

However, the veteran coach made it clear today that the Chiefs will accommodate whoever is named as the man to take charge of the All Blacks.

"All I can say to the new All Blacks coach is this environment's open, 100 per cent," Gatland said.

"We would welcome them at opportunity, to come in with them and their coaching team, good luck to them."

Gatland also refused to be drawn as to who he wants to see as Hansen's successor.

"I don't have any thoughts, I'm just as interested as you are watching from the outside in the show that's going on at the moment," he said.

"What's interesting is [that] you've got an experienced assistant coach that's been involved with the All Blacks for a number of years, so that's continuity.

"Then you've got an outstanding coach who's been successful at Super Rugby. He has the credentials.

"Being involved with the Crusaders, being successful there, being successful with other teams."

"It's a big decision for New Zealand Rugby to make, and good luck to the person who wins that role."

1 NEWS understands that the interview process to find the next All Blacks coach begun earlier this week.