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Warren Gatland announces his British and Irish Lions coaching team

Gatland

Warren Gatland has announced the coaching team he will take on the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa this summer.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, Scotland defence coach Steve Tandy, Leinster assistant coach Robin McBryde and Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins have all been named in Gatland’s team.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was previously thought to be considering touring with the Lions for a third time as a coach, but will remain in charge of Ireland for their yet-to-be confirmed tour of the Pacific Islands.

Of the coaches named only Jenkins has coached the Lions before; with Townsend, Tandy and McBryde all newcomers to Gatland’s team.

‘I’m excited to see what we can achieve together’

The Lions head coach was speaking about his coaching squad and said that he was confident they would all complement each other nicely in what they were trying to achieve.

“It’s a really strong group and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together – I think we’ll all complement each other well in South Africa,” Gatland said.

Lions

“A Lions Tour is a unique challenge, so it’s important to have some continuity in the coaching group. Neil understands the exceptional demands that only a Lions Tour can present, and we will benefit from his knowledge and experience.

“But it’s also important to have new voices and a fresh perspective. Gregor is doing an excellent job in charge of Scotland and is an outstanding coach. He also understands the challenges of touring South Africa as a player and what it takes to win there, so I am extremely happy he will be part of the set-up.

“Steve has made Scotland’s defence one of the most organised in world rugby – something we saw throughout the recent Six Nations. He’s clearly an intelligent coach and someone I am very much looking forward to working with.

Lions

“Obviously Robin is someone who I know very well from our time together in Wales. He is an impressive and experienced coach who continues to have success with Leinster. I think he’ll be well suited to the Lions environment and I am sure he will do an excellent job with the forwards.”

The Lions will play their first match against Japan on June 26 at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, before jetting off to South Africa where they will play the Stormers first on July 3.

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