Super Rugby 2020: Warren Gatland hits ground running with Chiefs

New coach Warren Gatland met his franchise's future today - the secondary school players he'd like to see developed into Chiefs.

So many things are new on his return home to Hamilton after 12 seasons abroad.

"The focus this week has been on learning the players' names - and the staff as well," says Gatland.

As well as a history of domestic and test rugby success, the former Wales coach brings a sense of humour to a side known for expansive rugby.

"I come from the northern hemisphere, so we're just going to play 10-man rugby," he jokes, when quizzed about his intended playing style for the Super Rugby side. 

Gatland will lean heavily on the local knowledge of his assistants.

"They've felt, in the last couple of years, they've tried to play too much rugby, and they haven't had the balance of playing territory and putting pressure on other teams."

Of course, one assistant coach must stand in, when Gatland takes a season off to lead the British & Irish Lions against South Africa in 2021.

"There's been no decision made on that and I don't think we have to make a decision," he says. "We'll see how the season goes."

He's also coy about who'll become All Blacks coach, now the race seems to be between old teammate Ian Foster and champion Crusaders counterpart Scott Robertson.

"I don't have any thoughts," he insists. "I'm as interested as you guys and enjoying the show going on at the moment. 

"All I can say to the next coach is this environment is open - 100 percent."

Gatland is keen for any input, as he takes the steps to returning the Chiefs to the top of the Super Rugby competition.

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