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Latest News - Monday 9 January 2012 - 14:19

Gatland wants 2013 British & Irish Lions job

Gatland was British and Irish Lions assistant coach in 2009 under Sir Ian McGeechan and is in line to be named Lions head coach after the Six nations.

2013 British and Irish Lions tour manager Andy Irvine plans to have his head coach for the upcoming tour appointed by April or May 2012.

McGeechan has been linked to the job again as well as Gatland and even former Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan but Gatland has not stated he wants the job.

“I would love to be involved with the Lions again if the opportunity came up,” said Gatland. “South Africa (in 2009) was a wonderful rugby experience like no other.”

“We went back to basics with an old-fashioned philosophy in a professional manner.”

“It was a privilege to work with coaches and players from other nations and you learn so much,” Gatland told Wales Online.

Gatland added that if he is not appointed as head coach he would be more than happy to take on an assistant role as he did in 2009.

“If I was involved in the same role as I did in South Africa under Ian McGeechan, there would not be a problem because someone else is head coach and in charge.”

Lions Boss Irvine said last year that they want their coach to concentrate solely on the Lions in 2013 so if appointed Gatland would have to take leave from his Wales position for next year’s Six nations.

“One of the things the Lions would want from a head coach would be that person available for a certain period of time,” explained Gatland.

“That would mean the coach was not available for the 2013 Six Nations.”

“It is not just about watching the internationals because you would have to keep in touch with the club games and it is a big job.”

“Whether I could do that I am not sure and you would have to speak to Roger Lewis.”

“That would all depend on what was happening with Wales and that role is always going to be my main priority. ”

“But there is still a lot of rugby to be played before any of these decisions are made.”

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