Warren Gatland would consider British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017
Warren Gatland has admitted he would consider leading the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in 2017.
Last Updated: 07/07/13 9:57am
Gatland, who is contracted with Wales through to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, became the first coach in 16 years to mastermind a series win over a southern hemisphere side.
"There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before 2017," Gatland said.
"You get opportunities in life if you're part of successful environments and teams and winning a couple of Grand Slams with Wales and reaching the semi-final of the World Cup has given me this opportunity.
"I'm grateful for the chance and if it came up again then it's something I might look at.
"The Lions are something that we need to preserve for the modern game, it's special and it has been a privilege for me to experience it."
He said the current tour had been tougher than the one to South Africa four years ago and insisted there would have to be changes in four years time.
"It's important that the Lions and Home Unions get together to agree adequate preparation time for future tours," he added.
"It means there has to be a negotiation with the southern hemisphere to push things back a bit in terms of the number of lead-up games because to be successful you want to have the best possible opportunity.
"The season needs to be adjusted so that we can spend a couple of weeks in the UK and Ireland preparing properly. This tour was tougher than it was in South Africa four years ago because the game is becoming more and more physical."
"I am not saying it is harder, I am saying it is different from a logistical point of view."