Rugby

Gatland 'touched' by OBE

2014-10-02 18:48
Warren Gatland (Getty Images)

London - Wales rugby union coach Warren Gatland said he felt "touched" after receiving a public honour from Prince William on Thursday.

The New Zealander was one of several leading sports figures from Britain and the Commonwealth named in Queen Elizabeth II's birthday honours list in June.

And Friday saw him collect his Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal from William, the Queen's grandson and son of Prince Charles -- the heir to the British throne -- during a ceremony at Windsor Castle, south-west of London.

As well as leading Wales to several Six Nations titles, last year saw Gatland guide the British and Irish Lions to a 2-1 series victory in Australia.

Speaking after his meeting with the Duke of Cambridge, Gatland said he was "touched" by the award and thanked all the "coaches, managers and support staff" he had worked with in his career.

"It's pretty nerve wracking going up there. It's a massive honour...being in a great setting like this. I'm very touched by it really," Gatland said.

He added: "It's a great honour for myself but I can't not recognise a huge number of people that I've been involved with that have helped me get this far and they're incredibly important as well."

Gatland angered Irish rugby fans by dropping star centre Brian O'Driscoll from the Lions side for their series-clinching win over Australia, with the coach insisting then they had long put any ill-feeling well behind them.

O'Driscoll retired from rugby this year and Gatland, asked if the midfield great would congratulate him on his OBE, said: "He probably will be, yeah. He sent me a Christmas card last year. I sent him one back as well."

O'Driscoll had previously been reported to have said it would be "unlikely" Gatland would make it on to his Christmas card list.

Read more on:    warren gatland  |  rugby
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