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Warren Gatland sets sights on Chiefs, Lions duties after final Test with Wales

After 12 years in charge of Wales, Kiwi coach Warren Gatland can finally look forward to his next challenge, leading the Chiefs in Super Rugby before another British and Irish Lions tour.

Having been with Wales since 2007, Gatland will return home to Hamilton from next year, replacing Colin Cooper as Chiefs coach, tasked with steering the side to their first Super Rugby title since 2013.

Bowing out of Test match rugby, losing the Rugby World Cup's third place playoff to the All Blacks in Tokyo, Gatland fronted media for the last time as Wales coach, asked about his new challenge.

"To be honest, I was hoping to take about six months off, that was the plan, and then to do the Lions," Gatland said.

"I had an approach from the Chiefs, I felt that if I didn't take that role then it wouldn't be there after the Lions.

"Thankfully New Zealand Rugby Union allowed me to take that, and then gave me a year's sabbatical [in 2021]. That will be a real challenge, looking forward to the Lions in South Africa.

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Forwards coach Robin McBryde paid tribute to the Kiwi coach ahead of his final Test. Source: 1 NEWS

"It'll be my fourth Lions tour, one as an assistant and three as head coach, and if South Africa win [the Rugby World Cup] tomorrow, then three of those four Lions tours would have been playing against the World Champions. So that makes it exciting, but also incredibly challenging as well.

"I'm looking forward to the Chiefs and getting back home, but looking at the squad, and some exciting young players coming through, hopefully we can do well, and set some high standards in terms of the expectations of the Chiefs in Super Rugby.

"Then I can look forward to a year with the Lions."

Gatland does though have one final assignment with Wales, taking on the Barbarians in Cardiff on November 30 - albeit not at official Test match.