Warren Gatland: 'He is staying with us,' say Wales

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland coached the 2013 British Lions to a 2-1 Test series win against Australia

Wales' Warren Gatland will not be replacing Stuart Lancaster as England coach, according to the Welsh Rugby Union.

Lancaster left the role on Wednesday after England's early World Cup exit.

Gatland's Wales beat England at Twickenham to help the hosts' demise and he has been linked with a move.

"Warren is happy in Wales and as far as I am concerned he isn't going anywhere. He is staying with us until 2019," said WRU chairman Gareth Davies.

Gatland's Wales contract takes him to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan, and this month he told a radio station he intended to see out his contract before returning to his native New Zealand.

However, Lancaster's departure from England has seen a number of top coaches linked with the England job - including Gatland.

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Former RFU chairman Martyn Thomas believes England have the resources to tempt top coaches from all over the world.

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"If I was in the RFU I'd talk to Gatland, I'd talk to [Australia coach Michael] Cheika," said Welshman Thomas.

"I would probably try to talk to [New Zealand coach, Steve] Hansen but I think in truth I think he is unlikely to be in the market, regardless off the money.

"Jake White obviously counting himself in, and there are one or two others out there."

Proven track record

Thomas believes Gatland emphasised his credential by steering Wales to the quarter finals of the World Cup despite being robbed of a number of front-line players through injury.

Wales progressed from Pool A - the so-called pool of death - with their 28-25 win at Twickenham a major factor in England's unwanted record of becoming the first host nation to fail to reach the knockout stages.

"He did an amazing job even with all the impediments that were put in his way in this World Cup, and it would be a very sad day for Welsh Rugby if he was to depart," added Thomas

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"The RFU is the richest union in the world by a million miles and having made an absolutely astronomical fortune out of this last World Cup they would throw at it any amount of money that they choose to.

"And money speaks. From a moral aspect I would hope - as a Welshman - Warren Gatland stays where he is.

"But one understands that careers can be short and anything can happen and people will chase the crock of gold at the end of the rugby rainbow if there is one."

Longest-serving coach

Gatland is already Wales' longest serving coach, having replaced Gareth Jenkins, who was sacked after they failed to progress from the pool stage at the 2007 World Cup.

He won the first of his Grand Slams in 2008, and the second four years later.

He also steered Wales to the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup when they lost 9-8 to France despite playing more than an hour with 14 men after captain Sam Warburton as sent-off.

Gatland signed his current contract in December 2013.