Rugby: Warren Gatland relishing summer at home before Super Rugby season

Warren Gatland's waited 12 years for a summer like this - a summer where he can share walks with wife Trudi, knowing he doesn't have to rush back to Wales.

He can get comfortable at Waihi Beach, about an hour from Hamilton, where his Mooloo roots are obvious.

His deck chairs are made from Rugby Park's old terraces, and he's delighted to now be closer to daughter Gabby and son Bryn.

Family's also at the heart of his coaching philosophy and it's been that way since their first child, Shauna, was born with spina bifida, back when he was a player-coach at Irish club Galwegians.

"When Shauna was born, they said 'you have to go home'," Gatland told Newshub. "'You have to take her home and be home with family' - that just kind of summed up everything."

Shauna only lived for four months and the experience taught Gatland that players must put family first.

His ideas made a big impression on Wales and Lions fullback Liam Williams, whose mum made sure they knew that when Warren Gatland headed home.

"Her main message - and she sent it twice - she said, 'I'm sending it again, because I really want to emphasise that the man Liam has become is down to you'," Trudi Gatland told Newshub.

The 56-year-old has written about his experiences in a new autobiography. He's an open book, especially about All Black ambitions, after finishing with the Chiefs and Lions.

"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," Gatland said.

"I'm not sitting there going, 'How am I going to become the All Blacks coach and what's my plan for the 6-8 years to do that, and who do I need to make sure I get close to'."

He says the All Blacks face a big challenge, after losing so much experience and with old teammate Ian Foster's appointment widely criticised.

"There's a lot of negativity towards him and so he's got to build, not so much credibility, but a bond with the public and get the media on side," Gatland said.

Gatland's doors are open to help, but for now, he's happy to finally have a long summer at home with his family.