Bryn Gatland has signed a three-year deal with his dad Warren's Super Rugby side Chiefs.

The 25-year-old fly-half heads home to Hamilton, New Zealand, to link up with the side for the upcoming season having spent two years with Dunedin-based Highlanders.

Former Wales boss Gatland is currently on a 12-month sabbatical to prepare for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa next summer, but will return to the Chiefs after that to resume at the helm. Coach Clayton McMillan takes charge in his absence,

Gatland's first season in charge of his hometown side saw the Chiefs finish New Zealand's domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign bottom of the table after losing all of their eight fixtures in the competition.

It was a killer blow from son Bryn which sealed one of those defeats when the Highlanders beat the Chiefs in the first match of the new tournament, formed due to the coronavirus pandemic preventing travel. Bryn snatched a win from his father by knocking over a drop goal with 90 seconds on the clock, helping his side claim a 28-27 victory.

Bryn Gatland is mobbed by his team-mates as the Highlanders beat the Chiefs in dramatic fashion
Bryn Gatland is mobbed by his team-mates as the Highlanders beat the Chiefs in dramatic fashion

After finishing the Mitre 10 Cup campaign, New Zealand's second-tier rugby competition, as its leading points scorer - with 119 points - Bryn Gatland now joins the Chiefs for the upcoming Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa, running from February to May 2021, and Trans-Tasman Competitions.

Bryn said: "I’m really excited to pull on the Gallagher Chiefs jersey next year and return home to family and friends to where I grew up and started my rugby dream.

"It will be a special moment if I get to pull on the Gallagher Chiefs jersey, and if it happens, I will do what I can to add to the legacy that is behind the jersey and club."

Gatland made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2017 and after two seasons headed south to the Highlanders.

Current Gallagher Chiefs head coach McMillan said Bryn has proven himself to be a "calm tactician, astute goal kicker, and is not shy of standing up in clutch moments.

"We believe he will be an asset to our Gallagher Chiefs squad, and I look forward to watching him further develop his game in our environment."

Chiefs Rugby chief executive Michael Collins added: "Bryn fitted our selection criteria and impressed us both with his outstanding form during the Mitre 10 Cup. We are excited to see what he brings to the team and expect great things from him in the future.”

The 2021 Super Rugby competition begins for the Gallagher Chiefs on March 5, 2021.