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Tuesday Apr 13, 2021

Lions coaching staff announcement elicits some amused responses from fans

Warren Gatland’s much anticipated British and Irish Lions coaching team was revealed today and it has been met with an unusual response.

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There was inevitably going to be plenty of interest in who did and did not make the staff, but one thing that was not on the agenda beforehand, but has been the biggest talking point by far online, is the lack of hair in Gatland’s coaching team.

Gatland named his staff for the tour of South Africa this year, and Scotland’s head coach Gregor Townsend is joined by his defence coach Steve Tandy, who will serve as the Lions’ attack coach and defence coach, respectively.

The team is completed by Neil Jenkins and Robin McBryde, who both worked with Gatland during his time in charge of Wales. Current Wales skills coach Jenkins joins the staff as kicking coach and Leinster assistant coach McBryde joins as forwards coach.

With each coach’s mugshot laid next to one another online, it is hard not to notice the trait that unites the quartet. In fact, Gatland’s usual buzz cut now has the appearance of long flowing locks when pictured alongside the rest of his coaching staff, as he is by far and away the most hirsute member of the team.

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Social media has been flooded with comments about the makeup of the Kiwi’s coaching team. These range from the tour being named “The Brave and the Bald,” to suggestions that the Lions will not need to spend on shampoo or barbers this year. There has not been a shortage of photos of eggs either.

Of course, there are serious responses to this team, with some questioning how France defence coach and long time colleague of Gatland’s Shaun Edwards or Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster did not make the coaching team.

The pair would have been very well suited to this coaching team based on credentials alone, but their smooth heads would have clearly met one of Gatland’s main requirements.

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