"I had no idea" - Warren Gatland future in doubt following fiery press conference - Ruck

“I had no idea” – Warren Gatland future in doubt following fiery press conference

Warren Gatland has confessed that had he been aware of the true extent of the challenges Welsh rugby was grappling with, he would have declined the opportunity to return to the Wales job.

This season has been marked by unprecedented turbulence in the professional era of Welsh rugby.

Despite the tumultuous circumstances, Gatland remains optimistic, asserting that facing adversity can serve to unite and strengthen his team as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup in France.

However, if things don’t go well in France, he could very well move on from his role.

“When I came into the Six Nations, I had no idea. I didn’t realise a lot of the things that were going on and the issues that were behind rugby and the squad and the players,” he said.

“At the time if I had known, I would have made a different decision and probably gone somewhere else.

“Welsh rugby’s going to go through [more] pain from a financial perspective for the regions.

“These issues were here before, but there’s no doubt that the success of the national team in the past probably papered over the cracks. 


“Now, probably for the better, they have come to the fore and there is a chance to focus on the things that needed fixing. 

“There’s a great chance for us to have a really positive reset on a number of things.

“I feel like we’re in that place now that’s exciting with some of the young talent that’s coming through.”

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Wales boss Warren Gatland handed ‘impossible’ Rugby World Cup draw

The next tournament will be held in France and the hosts will face New Zealand in a blockbuster opening match in Saint-Denis.

Chile, Portugal and Tonga are the latest teams to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The finals work the same way as the 2019 tournament with the first two teams in each pool progressing to the quarter-finals, which will be contested by knock-out matches.

If we suppose the top-ranked teams each win their pools and the second-ranked teams finish runners-up then the quarter-finals in 2023 could look something like this…

  • Wales vs Argentina
  • South Africa vs France
  • England vs Australia
  • New Zealand vs Ireland

However, with a number of star players quitting, and Georgia and Fiji coming into the tournament on good form could mean it’s an early flight home for Warren Gatland’s men.

Even worse, if they somehow finished fourth in their pool they’d be forced to qualify for the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

The 2023 tournament will take place between 8 September and 21 October 2023.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The draw is a key milestone on the journey to Rugby World Cup France 2023, and the time when the tournament truly comes to life for teams and players alike.

“It enables key operational elements to be undertaken such as venue allocation, optimal match schedule development and the ticketing programme.”



  1. New Zealand
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Uruguay
  5. Namibia


  • Sep 8: France vs New Zealand (Pool A) – Stade de France, Saint-Denis
  • Sep 9: Italy vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Sep 14: France vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
  • Sep 15: New Zealand vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
  • Sep 20: Italy vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade de Nice, Nice
  • Sep 21: France vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Velodrome, Marseille
  • Sep 27: Uruguay vs Namibia (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Sep 29: New Zealand vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 5: New Zealand vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 6: France vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
France team to play Wales
Antoine Dupont of France calls for the mark during the Six Nations Championship match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 13 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK