WRU chief Roger Lewis set for new Warren Gatland contract talks

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live
Warren Gatland and Roger Lewis

Welsh Rugby Union chief Roger Lewis says he is meeting Wales coach Warren Gatland this week to continue discussions on a new contract.

Gatland, who led the British and Irish Lions to a series victory in Australia, is contracted to Wales until the end of the 2015 World Cup in England.

But Lewis wants to start planning for the future of the national team.

"We've started talking. We have to start that planning for the national team now," Lewis told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We had a great night on the Sunday after that third Lions Test in Sydney… we're going away [this week] just the two of us, take some time off-site, and then we'll have a better idea of what's happening post-2015."

Gatland has been in charge of Wales since the end of 2007, when he was appointed following Wales' poor World Cup showing in France under Gareth Jenkins.

Since then, the New Zealander has led Wales to three Six Nations titles and two Grand Slams, before coaching the British and Irish Lions to an historic victory in Australia this summer.

He has been linked with the New Zealand head coach jobexternal-link and has also been backed by 2013 Lions manager Andy Irvineexternal-link to coach the Lions again when they tour New Zealand in 2017.

Lewis says there is no time frame on a decision, but stresses that the WRU is looking to plan on a long-term basis.

"At this level of the game, it's not one year, two years or three years [of planning]," he said.

"We run a five-year cycle and that's the attitude we've brought into the game here in Wales, and that's the conversation we'll have.

"It's got to be what's right for Warren and his life, and his family. The other bits, in terms of the career, slot in."

"[The discussions with Gatland] will be over a beer. I'll ask him, 'How do you feel? What do you think about the future?' And that will take as long as it takes."

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