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Welsh Rugby
Gatland came close to Wales exit
ESPN Staff
August 24, 2012
Wales coach Warren Gatland poses with the Six Nations and Triple Crown silverware, Wales v France, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, March 17, 2012
Warren Gatland parades his silverware © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Warren Gatland
Teams: Chiefs | New Zealand | Wales

Wales boss Warren Gatland has revealed that he was just a "toss of a coin" away from leaving his post after the recent World Cup.

Gatland led Wales to fourth place in the 2011 showpiece but had an offer on the table from Super Rugby side the Chiefs. Had he accepted the offer, then it would have seen him return to the side he coached in 2007.

The soon-to-be British & Irish Lions coach - with the Press Association reporting that he will be unveiled on September 4 - is contracted to Wales until 2015 but that could all have come to an end after the recent World Cup.

"I nearly made the decision after the World Cup [to return to New Zealand] and it was a toss of the coin," Gatland told stuff.co.nz. "I was going to come back and I had been offered the Chiefs job and New Zealand made me an offer of a contract.

"I went back to New Zealand and I said to them: 'Look, it's not about the money but I am finding it a little bit difficult to accept the contract, is there a chance of any movement on it'?

"[I told them] 'Well, you have offered me less money than I was on in 2007 when I was coaching Waikato and was involved with the Chiefs, to coach the Chiefs in 2012'."

When Gatland asked for an improvement on the offer they tabled, he was told: "They just said: 'Things are tight at the moment, the economy is not great' and they said 'that's the best we can do, take it or leave it'.

"If they had have moved 10 or 15 thousand I would have said 'okay, that's great . . . you've moved a little bit' and I would have taken the Chiefs job and [instead] they just said 'take it or leave it' and I said 'thanks very much, I'll leave it'. So that's what happened."

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