Warren Gatland has been confirmed as the new coach of Waikato.
The former Ireland coach , who won international honours with New Zealand, is currently coaching Wasps but announced earlier in the year he was heading home to New Zealand after nine seasons in the northern hemisphere.
He has had great success at Wasps with the team winning two Premiership titles and the 2004 European Cup during his tenure.
Gatland will take over as head coach of National Provincial Championship side Waikato from July 1 for three seasons.
His appointment follows the departure of former All Blacks coach John Mitchell to the new Australian Super 14 franchise in Perth.
Waikato Rugby Union chief executive Gary Dawson is thrilled to welcome back Gatland, who played 140 games for the province between 1986 and 1994.
"Warren is recognised as one of the best rugby coaches in the world, particularly with his track record of success with Ireland and Wasps. He will be a huge asset to Waikato Rugby," he said.
"Given the unexpected departure of John Mitchell recently, it is good for the Union, support staff and players to have so quickly found a replacement - particularly someone of Gatland's calibre."
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