Warren Gatland: Wales coach has All Blacks calibre - Zinzan Brooke

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland played 17 non-international matches for New Zealand

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has the credentials to be All Blacks coach, according to ex-New Zealand forward Zinzan Brooke.

The 52-year-old hopes to coach in his homeland once that deal expires and Brooke says he could be a candidate for the national side by then.

"Warren Gatland's certainly got the capabilities of dealing with that," he said.

"It's all about managing the players and he's been an All Black himself, so he knows what's required of a player.

"His coaching credentials have been built through coaching in the UK. He's a quality guy and a very good coach."

Two of Gatland's Wales predecessors and fellow countrymen, Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, went on to coach the All Blacks.

Zinzan Brooke
Zinzan Brooke won 58 caps for New Zealand and was a World Cup winner in 1987

Hansen emulated Henry's exploits of 2011 by guiding New Zealand to a third World Cup with victory over Australia in the 2015 final.

His contract expires in 2017 and Hansen expects to step down before New Zealand defend their title two years later.

Since taking over in December 2007, Gatland has led Wales to two Grand Slams and become the longest-serving coach in their history.

His deal expires after the tournament in Japan and he plans to return to his homeland, where he previously coached his native Waikato after spells with Ireland and Wasps.

Waikato Chiefs chief executive Andrew Flexman says Gatland would walk into a job in Super Rugby.

"He's about as credentialed as you can get and certainly in Chiefs country he's considered to be right up there," Flexman told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"We're pretty excited to hear that he's interested in rounding out his coaching career in this country.

"Depending on what the lie of the land looks like for us in the future, we'd certainly engage him in a conversation around that."

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