Lions head coach Warren Gatland is interested in adding Ireland head coach Andy Farrell and Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend to his backroom team.
According to The Telegraph, Gatland is looking to assemble a star-studded coaching team for the British and Irish Lions series this summer, with England defence coach John Mitchell also understood to be lined up.
Although uncertainty remains over where the Lions series with South Africa will take place this summer, Gatland has wasted no time in his efforts to assemble a formidable coaching team.
You just had to be there 🦁 pic.twitter.com/Wj01VwguKS
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) March 3, 2021
Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick, Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree and Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins are expected to also join the backroom team.
‘We would be very happy for him to go.’
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson told The Telegraph that he would be happy for the Scotland head coach to link up with the Lions in the summer.
“If Gregor Townsend was asked to go we would not stand in his way. We would be very happy for him to go,” Dodson said.
“We think it will add to Gregor’s knowledge and be another arrow in his quiver. Coaching the most outstanding players in the UK and Ireland can only do him good.
“I may be a bit biased because he is somebody that I believe in but I think he can be one of the great coaches of the generation. I think he has the ability to inspire people and out-think other coaches, there is no doubt about that.”
No officials have made any statement yet on whether Ireland head coach Farrell would link up with the Lions for the test series with the Springboks.
However, Farrell acted as Gatland’s defence coach for the Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017, having been released by the IRFU as Ireland’s defence coach at the time.
Borthwick, Rowntree and Jenkins were also part of the coaching squad for the 2017 tour, in what could be a largely familiar backroom team for the 2021 series.