Gatland awarded OBE

Date published: June 14 2014

Wales and victorious British and Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland has been awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Wales and victorious 2013 British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has been awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Gatland, who is currently in South Africa readying the national side for their opening Test against the Boks, said he was humbled by the honour.

“I was surprised really. It's a massive honour and I'm absolutely over the moon to be asked to receive that. It's great and I'm very proud and humbled,” he informed the Welsh Rugby Union.

“I told my wife and that's been it really. It's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. As a Kiwi I know they did their Queen's birthday honours list a couple of weeks ago and that has a real New Zealand flavour. To receive something in the UK as a Kiwi is pretty special.

“I have been to Buckingham Palace with the All Blacks. I've been lucky enough to experience that and maybe there will be another opportunity to do that.

“I don't know whether the palace had sent some correspondence to the wrong address because they ended up contacting the union and there was a bit of panic because they thought I had just ignored it. I replied and said 'I'm absolutely thrilled to receive that and it would be a massive honour.

“It's nice to be recognised, not just for yourself. There are a heck of a lot of other people that have given me the opportunity to be recognised in terms of the other coaches and the players I've been involved with as well. The support from the union and the people of Wales have made my time really enjoyable. It's easy and it feels very much home at the moment. It's like a second New Zealand.

“A few mates of mine have given me a hard time about getting an honorary doctorate so I'll probably get a bit of a ribbing about this one too.”