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Wednesday Dec 7, 2016

Warren Gatland confirms British & Irish Lions coaching team for New Zealand tour

Warren Gatland confirms British & Irish Lions coaching team for New Zealand tour
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Comments

Rob Howley, Steve Borthwick and Andy Farrell were today announced as part of Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions coaching team that will take on the All Blacks in New Zealand in 2017. The Lions will play ten fixtures in total, and three Tests.

The management team will be announced in early January, and the trio of coaches will work with their respective countries for the Six Nations, before joining the Lions ahead of the squad announcement on April 19.

“I am excited about this coaching team. I said from the outset it was important to have continuity because we need to hit the ground running, given the limited preparation time,” said Gatland. 

“In Rob and Andy we have guys who understand the Lions concept, have worked together and know how to coach a winning Lions team. It’s also important to have some new input.

“Steve has done a great job in shaping the England pack and played a major role in their recent run of success, so I’m looking forward to working with him.

“We may look to bring in a specialist coach but, fundamentally, this is the core coaching team we believe can help a talented group of players win a Test series in New Zealand.”

Farrell, now with Ireland, was also defensive coach on the 2013 Lions tour of Australia.

“The Lions is a unique experience for players and coaches,” he said.

“To bring together the best players from four countries and go to the home of the World Champions to take them on in their own backyard – that’s pretty special.

“As a group we are going to be tested across the board against the number one ranked team in the world.  The challenge for us will be to get on the same page as quickly as possible, appreciate fully the danger they pose and find solutions to their attacking threats.”

Howley, a player in 1997 and 2001 and coach in 2009 and 2013, added: “I’m delighted and honoured to be selected as part of the coaching team for the 2017 Tour. The British & Irish Lions is at the pinnacle of international rugby. We have a responsibility to uphold its tradition and heritage, and build on the success of the 2013 Tour.

“This will be my fifth Tour with the Lions but my first to New Zealand. We are under no illusions what to expect on the field but, with the inspirational travelling support from all four Home Nations behind us, I believe it will be a memorable six weeks.

“It is a huge achievement to be selected and I’m looking forward to the opportunity of working alongside the coaches and players from the other nations.

“As a coach, the experiences in 2009 and 2013 were hugely rewarding and I’d like to thank the WRU for once again supporting the role and understanding the benefits we can take forward from this opportunity.”

The Lions will play three Tests against New Zealand in June and July, aiming to improve on the 3-0 whitewash they were on the wrong end of in 2005.

2017 British and Irish Lions tour fixtures

    3 June – Provincial union team (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)
    7 June – Blues (Eden Park, Auckland)
    10 June – Crusaders (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)
    13 June – Highlanders (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin)
    17 June – Maori (International Stadium, Rotorua)
    20 June – Chiefs (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton)
    24 June – New Zealand (First Test, Eden Park, Auckland)
    27 June – Hurricanes (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)
    1 July – New Zealand (Second Test, Westpac Stadium, Wellington)
    8 July – New Zealand (Third Test, Eden Park, Auckland)

30 Comments

  •  hoot
    hoot
    9:26 PM 17/12/2016

    Makes me think of a World Rugby promotional campaign: 'Play Rugby and you too could look like this!'

    Reply
  •  ruckinmaul
    ruckinmaul
    9:54 AM 11/12/2016

    I pick Haskell over Tipuric. Don't get me wrong, Tipuric is probably the best pilfer in the team, but Haskell work rate is immense, I choose SOB because yeah, I think he is the best when he is fit.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    8:55 AM 11/12/2016

    Hahaha! I was actually thinking there are strong players in the likes of Lydiate and... uhhhhhh, I can't remember the other welsh flankers name, blue scrum cap? Could be Tipuric..(he plays for Wales yeh?)

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter
    8:30 PM 10/12/2016

    If Warburton goes on the Lions tour I will switch my allegiances and support New Zealand.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    2:01 PM 10/12/2016

    Sounds like an inside joke piss take.... "he's so shit, lets offer him the "Referee Talent Development Coach" job! *stemmed laughs*

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    9:47 AM 09/12/2016

    im1 is absolutely right and a very good summary of Jonathan Joseph's strengths. Not to get too carried away, but he reminds me of Conrad Smith in that he is quietly effective - you don't see him smashing people or making humungous carries and fends, but the entire back line is more secure defensively and more creative in attack when he plays. I reckon Joseph would be the first name on the team-sheet for me. (I'm equally confident that Monsieur Gatland does not see it that way, unfortunately).

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    12:40 AM 09/12/2016

    Not sure I'd pick SOB... He is a beast, but with his injury level i dont think he'll last 5 minutes.... I personally think he's too heavy, he did himself a number when he changed direction early this year/last year... I know it could happen to anyone, but I can't help feel that his heavy setness is playing havoc on his ligaments, muscles, tendons... Is there room for Haskell? I like the inclusion of J Gray, I think his work rate is immense. I'd imagine this 6N is going to be killer for Lions positions... Will be interesting to see how Wales fair in the 6N and their numbers in the Lions... I can understand Gatland going with familiarities of players he knows, but I don't think it's acceptable...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    12:33 AM 09/12/2016

    Fair point about Farrell, I take that back, althougb, he is a bit a part of that England "centre smaaaaash" thing they tried a few years ago, and I hope he doesn't want to put that into the hat otherwise the choice of tactics isn't going to very interesting: Gatland - Warrenball Howley - yeessss maaaaster, Warrenball Farrell - centre smash, otherwise known as Warrenball Who knows what Borthwick will bring to the table... ...and im1...don't be silly, I'm far too qualified to suggest alternative selections, with my level of expertise I am able to criticise without offering solutions!

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1
    4:02 PM 08/12/2016

    I think you have massively undersold JJ there. Daly has a bigger boot than JJ, but you just have to look at the kick JJ put through for Yarde or some of the other attacking kicks he has put in to realise he haas a very good kicking game. JJ's defence has been awesome as well so there is no way Daly has better defence than him. He has also scored 8 tries this year and has a knack for an intercept.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter
    11:39 AM 08/12/2016

    Managed to reply to my own comment instead of ruckinmaul's...

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter
    11:39 AM 08/12/2016

    I would say Furlong ahead of Nel, Kruis ahead of Gray, Henshaw (shifted from 12 to 13 in your XV) or Joseph ahead of Daly. Joseph has been defensively excellent in the autumn tests.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter
    11:36 AM 08/12/2016

    Howley is fortunate to be there imo, and it feels like he has been picked because of his association to Gatland rather than the performances of the teams that he coaches. It's a shame there is no room for Schmidt. As a coach he is one of very few to have rattled the ABs in recent teams. Also, my current picks (may change after 6N/with injuries): 1. Vunipola 2. Best 3. Furlong 4. Itoje 5. Kruis 6. Stander 7. Tipuric 8. Vunipola 9. Murray 10. Sexton 11. Williams 12. Farrell 13. Joseph 14. Watson 15. Hogg 16. Hartley 17. McGrath 18. Nel 19. AWJ 20. Faletau 21. Youngs 22. Henshaw 23. North

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp
    11:01 AM 08/12/2016

    He does have a worrying tendency to drop* the ball. *in England we call it passing.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp
    11:00 AM 08/12/2016

    Half of them comment here.

    Reply
  •  ruckinmaul
    ruckinmaul
    10:43 AM 08/12/2016

    From what I've heard, all other 5 six nations coach reject the offer to be part of the Lions coaching team. Gregor Townsed actually get the call, not Howley. Farrell is there for defensive role, which he excels very much at Ireland right now. Steve Borthwick appointment is spot on, England currently has the best forwards or maybe 2nd after All Blacks. The teams will mainly consist of English, Irish and some Scottish and Welsh. My pick: 1. Mako Vunipola 2. Rory Best 3. WP Nel 4. Maro Itoje 5. Jonny Gray 6. CJ Stander 7. Sean O'Brien (toughest position to pick) 8. Billy Vunipola 9. Connor Murray 10. J Sexton 11. George North 12. Robbie Henshaw 13. Elliot Daly 14. Liam Williams 15. Stuart Hogg 16. Dylan Hartley 17. Cian Healy 18. Dan Cole 19. AW Jones 20. J Heaslip 21. B Young 22. Owen Farrell 23. Jonathan Davies 7 and 13 are hard to pick. I choose Daly over others because he is the complete 13 I reckon right now, just need more game time, better defensively and kicking than Joseph, better attacking than Irish, Jared Payne. Jonathan Davies is out of form, but I'm pretty sure if he is on form, he will be the first to pick at 13. Thought guys? One of the complete Lions set up I reckon, against the All Blacks, it will be massive.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10
    10:27 AM 08/12/2016

    Gatland - sounds like a South Central LA Gun range/amusement park.

    Reply
  •  jonnyenglish
    jonnyenglish
    9:00 AM 08/12/2016

    "In fact son, just give the phone to Eddie please. Cheers". Does Warrenball really have its place? I don't really get where, Wales have been found out and found very much wanting recently.

    Reply
  •  jonnyenglish
    jonnyenglish
    8:58 AM 08/12/2016

    "Referee Talent Development Coach at World Rugby" Oh for fucks sake.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1
    8:57 AM 08/12/2016

    Bit harsh on Farrell. He is doing a good job for Ireland at the moment as defensive coach so being picked as defensive coach for Lions is fair. I'd also like to think he won't have to call his son every 5 minutes to ask for tips as he should just be able to ask him there on the training pitch. Gatland has won with the Lions, which is important, so a fair choice provided he shows he can adapt to a different challenge with a different team and gameplan. Howley doesn't make sense though, which is a worrying sign if that is the route Gatland wants to go down. However, remember Townsend was first choice so that may indicate that Gatland is going to stick to warrenball. Hopefully none of his 9/10/12/13 is Welsh and for the attacking gameplan he lets them decide what they want to do. And as much as we may complain about those picked, if we had the choice who would we pick instead?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    8:42 AM 08/12/2016

    Am I the only one thinking that perhaps Borthwick is the only one who might add something different? Unless Farrell can call up his son every 5 minutes and say "what does Eddie reckon about this?" Then he's not exactly had a gleaming record, not in the creativity department at least... Howley and Gatland both are part of a currently abysmal team... Who have had abysmal tactics now ingrained into them... Sure Warrenball has its place, but never against the AB's... So does this guy have any other tactics?

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10
    1:16 AM 08/12/2016

    Whatever recruitment agency these people are going through, can someone post the link? I could really do with a 6 figure salary... clearly haven't got a clue what I am saying half the time, I've even got the telescopic pointer/pen for presenting powerpoints... what more can you people possibly need?

    Reply
  •  welshosprey
    welshosprey
    9:47 PM 07/12/2016

    Joseph better start bulking.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    9:12 PM 07/12/2016

    Oh bloody hell, I'd say out if the frying pan and into the fire, but I think that applies more to the rugby community than Joubert...

    Reply
  •  pdg
    pdg
    4:57 PM 07/12/2016

    After Wales's recent performances under Howells which were very poor bordering on disgraceful, im convinced that there are better coaches that deserved a chance of coaching the squad

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp
    4:43 PM 07/12/2016

    Mate, I'm not sure he realises that's an option.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp
    4:38 PM 07/12/2016

    This photo just makes me think of every school PE department, ever.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes
    4:02 PM 07/12/2016

    Let's be serious the real rugby news of the day is: http://www.worldrugby.org/news/211160

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1
    3:40 PM 07/12/2016

    hopefully he will pick a squad that gives him the option of not playing warrenball, and it would be a tragedy if he didn't as there is so much flair and talent with in the home nations backs available to him

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23
    3:20 PM 07/12/2016

    Dan I think you're expressing too much confidence, lets try keep things level headed now!

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp
    3:15 PM 07/12/2016

    As an England fan I've become bored of England winning all these matches. 2016 has been duuuuull. I'm delighted that Warren Gatland has given us something to look forward to. A 3-0 blackwash, born out of incredibly dull Warrenball tactics, will help to put England and Ireland's recent improvements into focus. Can't wait. I've got some paint which I can watch dry if I find the Lions' tactics too much.

    Reply


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