Wales coach Gatland says England has not approached him
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland says England has not approached him about replacing Eddie Jones.
Gatland has been linked to the England job by the media since he announced he was stepping down after nearly 12 years in the Wales role, after the Rugby World Cup this year. Jones is contracted to England to 2021 but has a break clause if the team flops at the World Cup in Japan.
Gatland said on Tuesday the England Rugby Union was not among the “quite a number of” suitors who have contacted him about his future.
“It is a matter of making the right decision at the right time, so it’s just weighing those things up,” the New Zealander said.
“To be honest, my whole focus is about the next six or seven months, Wales and the World Cup.
“I haven’t spoken to England at all. They were quite clear in what they were doing, in terms of they wouldn’t be making any appointments or talking to anyone until post-Rugby World Cup.”
Gatland was speaking at the announcement of his preliminary World Cup squad, of which 36 of the 42 players helped Wales win the Six Nations Grand Slam in March. It included uncapped Cardiff Blues players, prop Rhys Carre and wing Owen Lane.
Also in were British Lions No. 8 Taulupe Faletau, who has missed most of the season after breaking an arm twice, and other injured loose forwards Aaron Shingler and James Davies.
Wales, on a 14-test winning streak, will play warm-up games against England and Ireland home and away in August and September. They will also have training camps in Switzerland and Turkey, and begin the Rugby World Cup on Sept. 23 against Georgia.