Warren Gatland is open to the possibility of coaching the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand in 2017.
Gatland has masterminded the Lions’ first triumphant tour since 1997 after Australia were routed 41-16 in Saturday’s series decider in Sydney.
The most challenging itinerary of all awaits in New Zealand in four years and Gatland would consider returning to his homeland at the helm of the elite of British and Irish rugby.
“There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge before 2017. You get opportunities in life if you’re part of successful environments and teams,” he said.
“Winning a couple of Grand Slams with Wales and reaching the semi-final of the World Cup has given me this opportunity I’m grateful for the chance and if it came up again then it’s something I might look at.”
The future of the Lions was under scrutiny when they set off for Australia in May due their failure to win a series for 16 years, but toppling the Wallabies 2-1 has restored their credibility.
However, Gatland would like to see changes made to the structure of the tour. “The Lions are something that we need to preserve for the modern game. It’s special and it has been a privilege for me to experience it,” he said.
“It’s tougher than it was in South Africa four years ago because the game’s becoming more and more physical.
“It’s tough to put two games together, so maybe you need a break in between games to rejuvenate yourself.
“It’s important that the Lions and home unions get together to agree adequate preparation time.
“The season needs to be adjusted so that we can spend a couple of weeks in the UK preparing properly. The Lions need to be given the best possible chance to be successful for the future.
“New Zealand is harder. It wasn’t until I left there that I realised what a difficult country it is to tour because getting around is more challenging.”