Warren Gatland outside his former school after being honoured for contribution to sport on the world stage.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland has been honoured in his homeland for his successful contribution to sport on the world stage.
He has been inducted into the Hamilton Boys' High School Hall of Fame in the New Zealand town where he grew up to become the tenth alumni of the famous school to be added to the Hall of Fame.
He was presented with the award at a ceremony attended by all 2,100 pupils at the boys' school which celebrates its centenary this year. He was invited to attend a school assembly along with his wife, Trudi, daughter Gabi and son Bryn who is a pupil at Hamilton Boys' High.
The coach was presented with a plaque and his photograph will now hang permanently on the wall of a room at the school set aside to celebrate its most famous ex pupils.
Hamilton Boys' High School is famous around New Zealand and beyond for its academic and sporting standards and now boasts a waiting list of potential pupils anxious to attend.
In the programme for the ceremony it was revealed that in 1982 Gatland was named Sportsman of the Year at the school. While playing for the school's rugby first XV the local newspaper, The Hamiltonian, described him as: "Easily one of the most skilful forwards in the country."
It described how he went on play his first of 17 games for the All Blacks in 1988 and represented Waikato 140 times.
After his playing career he coached at Connacht and then the Ireland international team before coaching London Wasps to success in three premiership championships and victory in the Heineken Cup.
He returned to New Zealand and coached Waikato to victory in the Air Nz Cup before becoming Technical Advisor for the Chiefs and then returning to the UK as Head Coach of Wales.
The Hamilton Boys High School Headteacher, Susan Hassall, said: "We have honoured Warren for his contribution to the sporting environment around the world and his achievements as a role model for our pupils of today.
"He has succeeded as a sportsman and then gone on to give back an enormous amount to sport as a coach and that's what makes him special. I taught him when he was here as a pupil and I know he will always have a special place in the beating heart of this school.
"He was chosen for this honour by the Old Boys Association and the school because he thoroughly deserves this recognition."
Gatland said: "To be recognised within the community I come from is a huge honour for me. It's a great feeling to be back here and I was delighted to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the school where my son is still a pupil.
"I always wanted to follow my dream and pursue a career which kept me on a sports field and I have been lucky enough to achieve that ambition."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.