Warren Gatland is reportedly set to be announced as head coach of the Lions for a third successive time.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed that The Lions board agreed at a meeting two weeks ago for Gatland to lead the squad once again when they tour South Africa in 2021.
The 55-year-old is due to step down from his role as head coach of Wales following this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and it is believed that The Lions board hope to agree on terms with the New Zealand native within the month.
Gatland recently won his third Grand Slam title in 11 years with the Welsh national side back in March and is one of the most highly sought after coaches in world rugby.
The New Zealander first stepped into the head coaching role with the Lions in 2013 ahead of the tour of Australia. The Lions won that series 2-1. He returned in 2017 for the tour of his native country where the series ended in a 1-1 draw.
He was indeed part of the last coaching staff to visit South Africa in 2009 which saw the Lions lose the series 2-1.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, a senior Lions source outlined their intention to hire Gatland once more due to his proven track record in assembling a successful touring squad.
“Warren is our No 1 choice. He understands the Lions and the unique challenges of touring. He has already proven his ability to put together a successful touring squad, not just in picking form players but also the right kind of personalities and characters that make the Lions so special.
“His track record with Wales speaks for itself and the brilliant thing for the Lions is that he will have no distractions in the build-up to the South Africa tour and there will also be no complications connected to hiring him from one of the unions.