Popular Kiwi coach Warren Gatland has reaffirmed his commitment to coaching Wales until the end of his contract in 2015, despite speculation that he would return to New Zealand.
The former All Black has just led Wales to the final four at the World Cup in his home country, and the performance of his young team has impressed many who would like to see his expertise employed in New Zealand.
"I'll be honest, at some stage in your rugby career, as I'm a Kiwi, I'd like to come home and do a bit of coaching in New Zealand. But not at the moment and I have made that commitment to Wales," he said.
If, as is widely expected, Rugby World Cup 2011 is the last for the All Blacks coaching trio of Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith, there will be gaps to fill and some say Gatland is an obvious choice after he guided the Welsh team to the semifinals for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1987.
"We feel like we've shown a lot of character, we feel like we've played some great rugby since we've been here," he told a press conference on Tuesday.
"We'll leave here with our heads held high having earned a lot of respect," Gatland added.
Gatland also announced his strongest team available to play Australia in the battle for bronze at Eden Park on Friday, making three changes to the side that lost to France in last weekend's semifinal.
It might not be the final they were hoping for but Wales will give the play-off their all.
"The highest we can get now is third so we'll go out all guns blazing," said flank Danny Lydiate.
"We want to go out with a win, so it would make the flight a lot better on the way home."
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