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The 25-year-old will round out his journey back to the Waikato tonight with a start for the Chiefs when they take on the Highlanders in Hamilton.
Gatland was born in Huntly in the Waikato, and went to Hamilton Boys’ High School, slotting the winning dropped goal in the side’s national top 4 victory in 2013.
He worked his way into the Waikato national provincial side but after just one appearance in 2015 Damian McKenzie usurped his spot at first five-eighth.
The composed Gatland moved up to North Harbour the following year and helped that side win the Mitre 10 Cup championship in 2016. The next year he was signed with the Blues but only played a few games for the northern franchise over the following two years.
He headed south to the Highlanders and played four games before his first season was ended by a nasty foot injury.
Last year, Gatland slotted a dropped goal in the dying minutes to defeat the Chiefs, who were coached by his father Warren.
It was the opening game of Super Rugby Aotearoa and was a great climax to a game in front of a big crowd.
But with Josh Ioane and Mitch Hunt in front of him, Gatland knew his time was up at the Highlanders and he signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs.
Gatland will start in the No 10 jersey tonight, with McKenzie at fullback.