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Page last updated at 07:23 GMT, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 08:23 UK

Coach Warren Gatland stays coy on Wales future

Wales coach Warren Gatland directs his squad
Gatland could become the longest-serving coach in Wales' history

Warren Gatland is remaining coy about his Wales future, but confirmed he was in talks about extending his contract beyond next year's World Cup.

The BBC has learnt discussions are taking place to keep the New Zealander until the 2015 World Cup.

But Gatland has previously admitted he has a "few options" available elsewhere as he considers his future.

"Whatever decision is made, there are some pretty talented people to take over if I don't stay on," he said.

"It's not about me, it's about Wales. It's really about the next 12 months and getting this team to perform well in New Zealand, do a good job for Wales and earn some respect in terms of performing well in the World Cup."

If Gatland were to take Wales through to the 2015 tournament, he would become the longest-serving national coach in Welsh rugby history.

The Kiwi made a huge impression when he took the job, taking on Wales' 2007 World Cup flops and leading them to the 2008 Grand Slam.

Wales were a competitive fourth in last year's Six Nations, but struggled to just two wins in 2010, and have won just three of their last 10 - against Italy, Scotland and Argentina.

Gatland has won 14 and lost 14 of his 28 games in charge and has led his side to just one win over Tri Nations opposition, the 21-18 victory over Australia in Cardiff in November 2008.

Wales have a history of sacking coaches in the build-ups to World Cups and - although criticism of Gatland has grown over the past two seasons - pundits have been generally positive in their treatment of the Kiwi.

For me the biggest question in that squad is over Warren

Former Wales captain Gareth Llewellyn

Former Wales captain Gareth Llewellyn has been one of the more outspoken, saying earlier in 2010: "Wales have to drastically change the structure we are playing under".

"For me the biggest question in that squad is over Warren," the 92-cap second-row told BBC Wales' Scrum V rugby programme.

"Warren's success is built on playing the game a certain way. When he was coach of Wasps it was built on a fantastic pack and a team that was much better than anything else out there.

"He played a particular system that worked and he's carried that on.

"What Warren has built his success on is not going to sustain us at international level.

"We've probably got the best set of players any Welsh coach has ever had, but relative to the opposition we're not that much better than anyone else.

"We play in bursts, when we get desperate and think the game's gone away from us and we start having to play more.

"That's more down to individuals than what they practice [with the coaches].

"But we have more potential than in previous World Cups because we have better players, the most talented squad Wales have had since professional rugby started."

Gatland has promised to test his side against the best as they build to next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

Their next challenge is a formidable autumn series at the Millennium Stadium when they face Australia, South Africa, 2007 World Cup bogey team Fiji and New Zealand.

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see also
Boss Gatland has career 'options'
26 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Gatland blasts lack of leadership
09 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Gatland considers 50-strong list
30 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Gatland slated for 'limited' plan
06 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Gatland unveiled as Wales coach
09 Nov 07 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby coaches
29 Mar 06 |  Welsh
Scrum V's rugby history
11 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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