The Chiefs sounded him out about taking over in 2018
Warren Gatland turned down Super Rugby advances from his native Waikato Chiefs and has committed to Wales until the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The Lions head coach revealed in an interview with Walesonline that he was approached three months ago about taking over from Dave Rennie in 2018 after Rennie heads to Glasgow.
He said: “The Chiefs spoke to me about three months ago but I told them it was a non-starter until my contract runs out with Wales.
“I told the Chiefs I would be interested after 2019 but there’s no way I would leave Wales or the Lions now,” he added.
Gatland is currently on a sabbatical from coaching Wales as he prepares to lead his second Lions tour. He heads to New Zealand next summer and will embark on one of the toughest tours possible.
Coaches Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley, head coach Warren Gatland and coach Andy Farrell
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
The Lions are due to play all five Super Rugby teams, the New Zealand Maori and a three test series against the World Champion All Blacks.
The last tour there ended in a 3-0 series "blackwash" after Clive Woodward's squad were ruthlessly exposed by their hosts.
There appears to be a more optimistic tone heading to the "land of the long white cloud" this time with the form of both England and Ireland lifting spirits.