With just over 18 hours to go before the British and Irish Lions reveal their choice of Head Coach for next summer’s much-anticipated tour to New Zealand, a rather intriguing image appeared online.
Seemingly showing Warren Gatland – current Wales boss and favourite for the top coaching job – decked out in red merchandise and surrounded by a photography crew, has the Lion been let out of the bag early?
The Kiwi is so highly tipped for the Head Coach role that many news outlets are reporting that he is the man to be announced in Edinburgh at 12 noon tomorrow (Wednesday). However, if the mysterious image is actually real, then any surprise is well and truly gone now.
— Kieran Guilfoyle (@Kieran_Gilly) September 6, 2016
However, there is at least one reason to doubt the authenticity of the image as those more familiar with the Wales boss went to the trouble of explaining…
A caveat: we all know by now Gatland is a divil for giggling wind-ups. Nothing would appeal more to an ex-hooker than trolling the world. 1/
— Tim O'Connor (@timoconnorbl) September 6, 2016
Saying that, we firmly expect Gatland – who recorded a 2-1 series win while in charge of the Lions in Australia last time out – to be unveiled in due course.
In a separate development, The Guardian is reporting tonight (Tuesday) that Gatland will be relinquished from his role with Wales immediately to allow him concentrate fully on preparations for the tour, with Rob Howley expected to take charge on an interim basis.