Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales determined to beat All Blacks in Warren Gatland's farewell match

Warren Gatland's reign as Wales coach will come to an end on Friday night when they face his native New Zealand in the bronze final at the Rugby World Cup in Tokyo. 

After 13 years with the Welsh, the 56-year-old is returning to his country of birth to coach the Chiefs in Super Rugby next season.

Wales were determined to send Gatland out a World Cup winner, but in a tense semi-final, they fell short, losing to South Africa 19-16. 

However, their focus has quickly shifted as Wales are eager to emulate their third-place finish of 1987 and in the process defeat the All Blacks for the first time since 1953.

Since taking over as coach of Wales, Gatland has faced the All Blacks 11 times, with their closest defeat being seven points back in 2009.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales determined to beat All Blacks in Warren Gatland's farewell match

However, he had some success over New Zealand as British & Irish Lions coach, leading them to a rare drawn series in 2017. 

"For me, the last game will be hugely monumental as a coach," admitted Gatland. "Apart from the Lions, they are not a team I have beaten.

"We will look to see how the players pull up for this and the game against the All Blacks and see whether we need to give players a rest as it's a five-day turnaround. 

"The All Blacks are hurting as much as we are. It is a tough game to play, but we will give it the respect it deserves."

New Zealand born-Welsh international Hadleigh Parkes added it would be a "tough" game, but the team wants to send Gatland out in style. 

"Warren is very good at motivating players and is a great coach," explained Parkes. "He is good at, I wouldn't say the mind games, but he knows how to make each of his players tick.

"It will be a tough game, and you want to finish on a high note. There will be changes, so you want to put in a good performance because so much hard work has been put in during this tournament and you want to finish well.

Welsh lose forward Justin Tipuric, who was part of the 2017 Lions tour echoed Parkes' comments. 

"As a whole group, it would be nice to finish on a high, especially against the All Blacks," he said. 

"There's a chance there to make history. We could have created history tonight, and it may not be the same, but we could make history and actually finish on a high by beating the All Blacks.

"It's not going to be easy at all, but we've got to bounce back up and crack on with next week." 

First-five Dan Biggar added that it would also give the current playing group a nice confidence boost after a heartbreaking exit from the World Cup. 

"It would be a nice way for the players to go out as well because we are the ones who haven't got the victories against New Zealand and quite often come of the field battered and bruised against them so it would be nice for everyone to get the victory," he said. 

"I suppose a nice way for everyone to finish on a high because today is pretty disappointing."

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us for live updates of the Rugby World Cup bronze final between New Zealand and Wales from 10pm on Friday, November 1. 

Newshub. 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz