Warren Gatland will move from head coach to director of rugby when he makes his return to Super Rugby's Chiefs next season.

The British and Irish Lions head coach's new position is to make room for Clayton McMillan, who filled in as head coach while Gatland was on sabbatical preparing for the Lions tour to South Africa this summer.

In Gatland's absence, McMillan led the Chiefs to the final of Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2021, finishing fifth in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition later that season.

McMillan will remain as head coach while Gatland, who is under contract until 2023, has been shepherded into a new role overseeing the whole rugby operation at the Chiefs.

"No one was prouder than I was with the gains made by the Gallagher Chiefs during 2021," Gatland said.

"It was outstanding to see both individuals and the group grow and achieve success and that includes Clayton, who brought his vision and mana to the head coach role.

"I am excited at the prospect of working with Clayton and the other coaches to build on those foundations as we strive for success in the new Super Rugby Pacific in 2022."

McMillan said he was grateful for the support he had received, and the faith shown in him by everyone involved in the Chiefs.

"Having lived my life in the Chiefs region, I am a Chiefs club man through and through and like Gats I want to see the Gallagher Chiefs back at the top of the Super Rugby table.

"As I have said previously, we complement each other well and one of the major attractions for me when I joined the club was to work alongside Gats and benefit from his immense knowledge and experience. We are committed to working together to position the Chiefs Rugby Club for sustained success and I can’t wait to get started," McMillan said.