Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is reportedly set to join Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions coaching team in time for the tests against the Springboks.
Farrell had originally opted against touring with the Lions for a third time, as Ireland had been due to tour Fiji this July. However, as that tour has now been cancelled, the Ireland head coach could play a role in the tour to South Africa.
According to the Irish Times, Farrell will link up with the Lions in time for the first test against the Springboks after Ireland’s two matches against Japan and the USA.
The Lions and SA Rugby have confirmed the fixtures for the #CastleLionsSeries.
Every match of the Tour will be played in Gauteng or Cape Town, and the @LionsRugbyCo have replaced the SA Invitational team.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) May 14, 2021
Andy Farrell set to tour with the Lions for a third time.
Ireland play their last game of the summer against the USA on July 10, two weeks before the Lions face the Springboks in the first test of the series on the July 24.
At the earliest, Farrell could join up with the Lions before their fourth game of the tour against South Africa A in Cape Town on the July 14.
Farrell acted as the Lions defence coach on the last two tours to Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and 2017, but as Steve Tandy has taken up that position for this year’s tour it is not clear what capacity the Ireland head coach will be working in.
Here are your coaches for the 2021 #CastleLionsSeries against South Africa 🦁
A blend of experience and fresh perspective 💪
Read more about the appointments below ⤵️#LionsRugby
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) April 13, 2021
Gatland’s coaching squad.
Gatland had originally said that he’d known “for a long time” that Farrell wouldn’t be available for this year’s Lions tour, but the two have a good relationship, having worked together on two tours already.
Farrell is now expected to join Gatland’s team which comprises of attack coach Gregor Townsend, forwards coach Robin McBryde, defence coach Steve Tandy and kicking coach Neil Jenkins.