The Latest: Gatland to face NZ for 3rd, not English for cup
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
Warren Gatland’s last game in charge of Wales will be against his native New Zealand. He started the job with a game against England and wanted to finish off against the same rival — in the Rugby World Cup final.
Wales was level 16-16 with five minutes to go in the semifinal against South Africa but lost on Handre Pollard’s late penalty goal. The Welsh are now 0-3 in World Cup semifinals, and will be playing for bronze against the three-time champion All Blacks.
“We punch massively above our weight in terms of the playing numbers in Wales, so I’m really proud of these guys, they’ve given us 100%,” Gatland said. “We’re disappointed, but I think we can hold our heads high and leave Japan with a lot of respect.”
Gatland has guided Wales to a Six Nations Grand Slam, and led the British and Irish Lions on successful tours. New Zealand is the only top-tier team he hasn’t beaten as coach of Wales and he says “It’ll be monumental.”