And so it came to pass that Warren departed the far off shores and arrived in the land of myths, legends and heart-warming close harmonies.

It had taken several wise men (sic), travelling many thousands of miles and offering bountiful gifts to persuade the latest messiah to lead his new people towards The Promised Land.

OK, so the appointment of a new coach to the Welsh rugby team is hardly Biblical stuff…yes, you’re right, it is far more important than that.

The worst kept secret in the rugby world for the last week or so was finally confirmed today when New Zealander Warren Gatland was appointed to the role of head honcho in the goldfish bowl.

The Welsh Rugby Union attempted to whip up even more of a frenzy than exists already by staging a grand press conference. However, their thunder was stolen somewhat by Gatland’s former employers, the wonders of modern technology and the time difference between New Zealand and Wales.

The Waikaito Chiefs announced Gatland’s departure for Wales on its own website several hours before the WRU got to pull the metaphorical cord on the decorative scarlet curtain and gleefully reveal they had got their man.

Still, never mind. It hardly puts a damper on things as far as the WRU is concerned.

Gatland has an excellent rugby pedigree, he’s a well-known figure around the world, he has found significant success as a coach and judging by his rather pugnacious appearance he’ll be up for a fight and a challenge – and let’s face it, with all the political in-fighting, under-achievement and over-the-top fervour that surrounds Welsh rugby, he’s going to need to be ready for a battle royal or two…or three.

As far as I’m concerned, the WRU have done well. I hope Gatland does take us onwards and upwards.

But the next big challenge and decision is who the new coach will have around him. Like all good managers, Gatland is only as good as the people he has alongside helping him.

Fingers crossed that the WRU don’t make the same mistakes of the past and refuse to allow the chosen one to assemble his own backroom staff.

Big smile, Warren, all eyes are now on you.


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