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Warren Gatland to receive city ambassadorship award

Warren Gatland to receive city ambassadorship award

16 July 2014

For Immediate Release

________________________________________

Internationally recognised rugby coach and distinguished former international rugby player Warren Gatland will receive an honorary city ambassadorship from Hamilton City Council.

Mr Gatland, who was born and educated in Hamilton, will receive the inscribed medallion at an extraordinary council meeting on July 31. The ambassadorship is given to individuals representing the interests of Hamilton at a national or international level.

The award recognises his long career which has taken him from the sports fields at Hamilton Boys’ High School to his current role as coach of the Welsh rugby team.

This will be Mr Gatland's second accolade of the year - he was made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday British Honours list in June for his services to rugby.

Mr Gatland attended Hamilton Boys’ High School and completed his teacher training at The University of Waikato. He played a record 140 games at hooker for Waikato and was in the team that won over Wales, the British Lions, Argentina and Australia. He was also in the 1993 winning team that lifted the Ranfurly Shield from Auckland. Mr Gatland was first selected as an All Black in 1988 and toured Australia, Canada, Wales and Ireland, France and Argentina, playing 17 non-international matches.

He has been Ireland’s national coach and director of coaching at the London Wasps. He coached Waikato in the early 2000s, and became technical adviser for the Chiefs.

In November 2007 Welsh Rugby Union offered him their top coaching job in on a contract through until after the 2019 World Rugby Cup, making him the longest serving Welsh national coach.

The Ambassador of Hamilton title was awarded for the first time in 2013 to Archbishop Sir David Moxon.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says Mr Gatland is a true ambassador for Hamilton.

"Mr Gatland's ties with Hamilton remain strong and he is a passionate and vocal advocate of our city. His achievements on the world sporting stage are legendary, and Hamilton has been the venue for many of these significant sporting accomplishments. Warren Gatland is a household name in Hamilton and New Zealand and I know residents will be delighted to hear he is an official ambassador of our city."

ENDS

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