Wales coach Gatland 'surprised' by rugby chief's England tweet

Brett Gosper
Brett Gosper was appointed chief executive of World Rugby in 2012 when it was still called the International Rugby Board.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says he is "surprised" by World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper's comments about World Cup opponents England.

After England's group-stage elimination from the Cricket World Cup, Australian Gosper tweeted that he hoped England's rugby team would avoid a similar fate.

Rugby World Cup 2015 hosts England are in the same pool as Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

"We are a little bit surprised by the tweet," said Gatland.

Brett Gosper's tweet

"Probably the head of World Rugby doesn't need to be doing that, but that's his own personal views and his own personal decision.

"If England are guaranteed to be one of the sides going through, I hope we are the other team."

Wales face Ireland in the Six Nations at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, knowing that a third successive victory will keep their title hopes intact.

Gatland said before this year's competition that Wales' primary focus is the World Cup and that this Six Nations and the previous autumn campaign are seen as opportunities to prepare the team for the global showpiece event beginning in September.

Wales face a fierce task in qualifying for the quarter-finals, having been drawn alongside previous winners England and Australia, plus Uruguay and Fiji.

The Pacific Islanders knocked Wales out of the 2007 World Cup.