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Warren Gatland was born in 1963 in Hamilton, New Zealand. He went to Hamilton Boys’ High School and Waikato University. The Rugby legend went to play 140 games for the Waikato province. This was a record at the time of his retirement in 1995. He is one of the longest-serving players for Waikato. Gatland played a number of non-international matches for New Zealand but didn’t win a full international cap for the All Blacks.
Although he was a perfectly capable and respected Rugby player, Gatland is more recognised for his formidable coaching skills. He started his coaching career as a coach/player for Taupiri in 1989. He moved to Ireland to act as coach/player for Galwegians RFC. He led them to promotion into the All Ireland League Division 2.
Gatland went on to become an assistant coach at Thames Valley in New Zealand, before returning to Ireland in 1996. He had a successful spell at Connacht where he led them to the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup. He coached the Irish International Rugby team between 1998 and 2001 with a 47% win rate. He moved Ireland up the world rankings from eighth to sixth.
Gatland had a successful spell at Wasps withing three Premiership title, the European Challenge Cup and the Heineken Cup. After a 2-year spell at Waikato, he would go on to become head coach of Wales in 2007. Between 2007 and 2019 he transformed Welsh rugby. He took them to two Rugby World Cup semi-finals in 2011 and 2019. Gatland also led the Welsh to four Six Nations titles, three of which were Grand Slams. During this period, Gatland was also the head coach of the British and Lions team on the 2013 tour of Australia and 2017 tour of New Zealand.