Warren Gatland: Wales head coach should stay until 2019 World Cup - Martyn Williams

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland was appointed head coach after Wales' poor 2007 World Cup campaign

Former Wales captain Martyn Williams expects head coach Warren Gatland to stay in charge for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, regardless of results before then.

Gatland, who is also head coach of the British and Irish Lions, says he is happy with Wales' group after they were drawn against Australia and Georgia.

Williams played under Gatland and says he is the man to lead them in Japan.

"If he does want to come back then the hierarchy will look at his record in World Cups," Williams said.

He continued: "That's why I think he will definitely get to the 2019 World Cup regardless of what happens between now and then, because he does get the team right for a World Cup campaign."

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips expects Gatland to return to his Wales role after coaching this summer's Lions tour of New Zealand.

Phillips reinforced his belief Gatland will return, saying he "made it very clear his intention was to come back".

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Gatland, who succeeded Gareth Jenkins as head coach in 2007, is contracted to Wales until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The former Ireland and Wasps coach said he rejected an approach from Super Rugby side Chiefs about leading them from 2018.

Wales finished fourth at the 2011 World Cup when they were beaten by France in the semi-final after captain Sam Warburton was sent-off.

Four years later, Gatland's Wales finished second in a pool containing Australia and hosts England to qualify for the quarter-finals where they narrowly lost 23-19 to South Africa.

Williams, who played in three World Cups, says Gatland's experience of previous tournaments will be invaluable to Wales.

"It would be his third World Cup," Williams told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"He's been very successful in the last two. Getting Wales out of the group of death [in 2015] was an achievement in itself and were very competitive in the quarter-finals against South Africa.

"We'll never forget the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, where we could have got to the final."

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