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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 May 2007, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Gatland denies Northampton link
Warren Gatland
Gatland led Wasps to Heineken Cup glory in 2004
Former Wasps coach Warren Gatland has denied being approached by Northampton for the vacant director of rugby post.

The relegated Saints are searching for a new figurehead after demoting Paul Grayson and replacing him with a new head coach in Peter Sloane.

Gatland is currently the assistant coach at New Zealand-based Super 14 club Waikato Chiefs.

But asked if he wanted to join Saints he told BBC Radio Northampton: "I don't think Wasps would be too happy."

Former New Zealand international Gatland joined Wasps in 2002 as an assistant coach before taking over as director of rugby when Nigel Melville quit for Gloucester.

The former Ireland coach lifted the London side away from the bottom of the Premiership table to safety in his first few months before guiding them to three consecutive titles from 2003 and the Heineken Cup in 2004.

Grayson has paid the price for Northampton's relegation from the Premiership and been handed the role of backs and skills coach with Sloane stepping up from assistant coach.

Defence coach Frank Ponissi and technical analyst Paul Larkin are leaving the club as part of the re-organisation.

Saints chairman Keith Barwell admits the club are still hunting for a new director of rugby and said: "A shortlist of candidates is being compiled.

"We have had some extremely positive conversations with several world-class coaches."

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