OITA, 16 Oct - There is an elephant in the Wales dressing room as the squad prepare for their quarter-final against France. 

Coach Warren Gatland has long made it known he would leave his post after Rugby World Cup 2019. So defeat on Sunday would mark not only the end of Wales's ambitions, but also of Gatland's illustrious 12-year tenure.

But Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins says that's not a topic of conversation.

"I haven't asked him that, and I don't think anyone has asked him that. We are hoping it's not," said the former fly-half, pictured with Gatland above.

"His record speaks for itself as in the results, the success, the togetherness of the team and the squad and the staff.

"Gats is not just an incredible rugby coach, he is an incredible person as well. He brings so much to this environment. It's unbelievable.

"It would be incredibly sad to see him go. It would be nice if we could give ourselves another fortnight in Japan for him and for everyone involved."

"Whatever he does, everyone looks up to him and understands why he does it," added Jenkins, who has been on the coaching staff throughout Gatland's reign as well as on two Lions tours.

"He's a very smart operator. He does things for a reason and there's always a plan behind things. I'm sure that will be the case this week."

And he insists the 56-year-old will not change his approach as Wales aim to avenge that painful defeat against France, below, in Auckland eight years ago.

Gatland took over after Wales crashed out of the Rugby World Cup in 2007 in the pool stages because of defeat by Fiji.

Since then, he has led them to four Six Nations wins, including three grand slams, albeit Rob Howley was caretaker coach for Wales's 2013 title as Gatland took a sabbatical to coach the British & Irish Lions.

Gatland also took Wales to the semi-finals of RWC 2011, where they lost by a point to France after captain Sam Warburton was sent off, and the quarter-finals of RWC 2015. They also reached top spot in the world rankings for the first time in August.

"Gats is the same no matter who we are playing week to week. It's probably us he has to calm down, the rest of the coaching staff.

"He knows the game inside out. We'll be prepared for every avenue on Sunday. It's about being composed, having your thought process around you and being right by the time the game comes around."

RNS ig/ar/sw