The Lions have yet to make a formal approach for Gatland
Welsh Rugby Union boss Roger Lewis would give his personal backing for Wales coach Warren Gatland to go on the Lions' South Africa tour next summer.
Lewis told Scrum V: "Warren and I have agreed it would be not right for him to take on a lead role within the Lions.
"But I'd certainly be minded that if we could cross all the bridges (over another role), I think it's something I would certainly be supportive of.
"However, it would be a decision for the WRU board."
Gatland's assistants Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley are also tipped to join Lions chief Ian McGeechan on the tour, although Lewis insisted no formal approach for any senior Wales coach has been made to the WRU.
Lewis also said Gatland's personal qualities would diminish concerns based on the events that followed then-Wales coach Graham Henry's leadership of the 2001 Lions tour to Australia.
Henry's Wales reign began to crumble in the wake of that 2-1 Test series defeat as his relationship with senior Welsh players suffered.
Lewis said: "The reason I'd support it (Gatland going on the Lions tour) is because Warren is such a rounded guy - he's so together, so focused.
"We've all learned from the mistakes of the past, the mistakes of others. I think we could get it right this time."
Lewis says his first discussions with Gatland on the issue took place during the 2008 Six Nations.
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