Gatland: Security can help team

Andover Advertiser: Warren Gatland has committed his future to Wales until 2019 Warren Gatland has committed his future to Wales until 2019

Warren Gatland hopes his new long-term contract will boost Wales' chances of winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Gatland signed a new six-year Wales deal on Monday, to extend his already record-breaking tenure as head coach up to 12 years.

The former Ireland and Wasps boss will remain in charge of Wales until after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

But the 50-year-old New Zealander has already set his sights on the 2015 tournament in England.

Gatland admitted he hopes ending speculation about his future can help Wales' top stars hit their peak at the next World Cup in England.

Gatland said: "Even speaking to the players now, they are talking about 2015 and the excitement.

"There's a real belief that might not have been there that this group of players is capable of winning the World Cup in 2015 or in 2019.

"Psychologically that's a massive turnaround for me.

"And then for the players knowing there isn't all that press speculation about what's going to happen after 2015, am I going to stay on, where am I going, what am I doing, that takes a little bit of worry away from them, or the focus almost.

"Sometimes that can be a disruption, so I'm looking at this as a positive for myself, the team and for Wales as a whole in terms of knowing where we're going."

Gatland hopes his new contract will give Wales' national set-up new-found security, and help end the side's inconsistent nature.

He said: "It's a statement in confidence of what we've achieved but also what we can achieve too.

"I'm very proud of what we've done over the last six years, but for me the job feels only half done.

"We've got quite a few youngsters coming through, with the age profile of the squad at the moment.

"And we honestly feel as a team that we're capable of continuing to improve, doing well at 2015 and hopefully onwards to 2019 as well.

"For me it's about hopefully leaving a legacy in terms of what we've created, and trying to look for consistency.

"We know we've got a small playing base, but we think we punch massively above our weight with the other major nations.

"But we want to get away from previous years where it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride and build consistency in performances.

"It doesn't mean you end up winning all the time, but making sure you don't end up with people speculating about false dawns, followed by really poor performances.

"That's been an aim for us, and we feel like we can continue to keep improving."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree