British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland keen to lead side for 2017 tour of New Zealand

Last Updated: 04/12/13 12:27pm

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Warren Gatland: Led the Lions to victory in Australia last summer

Warren Gatland: Led the Lions to victory in Australia last summer

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Warren Gatland would relish the chance to lead the British and Irish Lions when they tour his native New Zealand in 2017.

The 50-year-old guided the Lions to their first series victory in 16 years last summer when they defeated Australia 2-1.

Gatland was named UK coach of the year and high-performance coach of the year at the 2013 UK coaching Awards in London on Tuesday night, and the Wales coach says he would happy to take the Lions reins again.

"It was an incredible experience," he said. "To be involved, I was humbled and privileged.

"For me to go to New Zealand would be a great opportunity in 2017, but there is a huge amount of water to pass under the bridge before that.

"For me, the focus over the next couple of years is doing well for Wales.

"And if Wales do well in the Six Nations and the World Cup, then you put yourself in the frame to hopefully be asked again.

"You never know, and if I was asked to do it again and particularly in my own country, it would be something I would relish."

Wales have won back-to-back Six Nations titles and Gatland admits that a third successive championship would be really special.

"It is such a hard tournament to win," he said. "It is a tournament of momentum - if you get a start and win the first game or two you have a chance of winning it.

"Three in a row - that would be something special, so there is a lot of pressure we are putting on ourselves. We want to be able to do that, but it is going to be tough."

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