Coaching Wales difficult for Welshman, says Warren Gatland

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Gatland reflects on his 10 years as Wales head coach with former Test flanker Martyn Williams

Warren Gatland agrees it will be difficult for a Welshman to follow him as Wales national coach.

The Six Nations game against Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday marks 10 years since his first match in charge.

In an exclusive interview for BBC Wales ex-flanker Martyn Williams asks Gatland if it would be tougher for a Welshman taking over after the 2019 World Cup.

"I think you're right, I think it is difficult for a Welshman to coach Wales," Gatland replied.

"It's so tribal here isn't it and everyone is seen as being biased, and I keep saying to people when you're talking about selection all of it is just a matter of opinion.

"I think sometimes we don't always appreciate that's the way it is. That's the selection made and I might not agree with it but I respect it."

Wales coach Warren Gatland and flanker Martyn Williams share a moment after clinching the 2008 Grand Slam
Wales coach Warren Gatland and flanker Martyn Williams share a moment after clinching the 2008 Grand Slam

Gatland says he believes the Welsh are as passionate and knowledgeable about rugby as fans in his native New Zealand.

But the relatively small distances between the four professional regions in south Wales means news travels faster and local rivalries are more intense.

"Something happens in Newport and people in Llanelli know by tomorrow, and there's no secrets," he said.

"But there's an expectation too and I've found that challenging at times.

"I've found the Welsh to be incredibly passionate to be Welsh and what they've achieved, but I've found them to be critical of themselves and of each other too.

"But the Welsh are so proud of their history and their roots and where they come from, and we should celebrate that and be supportive of that and support each other."

Gatland said his proudest moment as Wales coach was winning his first game in charge against England at Twickenham in 2008.

His biggest disappointment was the loss to France in the semi-final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, when captain Sam Warburton was sent off.

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