Gatland admits to sack fears
January 23, 2011
Warren Gatland has admitted that he faces the sack if Wales fail at the World Cup © Getty Images
Wales coach Warren Gatland has accepted that he will be sacked if his men fail to make the last eight at this year's Rugby World Cup.
The 47-year-old Kiwi signed a new contract through to 2015 with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in October but he has admitted that there will be little room for manoeuvre if they do not emerge from a challenging World Cup Pool containing South Africa, Fiji, Samoa and Namibia.
Gatland succeeded Gareth Jenkins as Wales coach following their disastrous Pool-stage exit from the tournament in 2007 and the ex-Wasps boss is keen to learn lessons from that failed campaign.
"Make no bones about it, if we don't make the quarter-finals I am gone. They will get rid of me and that is fair enough," Gatland told Wales on Sunday. "When I took this role on, my whole focus of the four years was getting Wales ready for the World Cup in 2011 after what happened in France. I know I will be judged on the tournament.
"I can't make sure that it does not happen again but the planning that has gone into it, with the camps we have prepared, means physically we will be in great shape. It is up to me to make sure I learn the lessons from previous campaigns and have no regrets at the end of the tournament if they do get rid of me."
Wales kick-off their Six Nations campaign against England at the Millennium Stadium on February 4, having won only twice in their last 12 Tests.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup