After Gregor Townsend joined Joe Schmidt and Eddie Jones in deciding to turn down the opportunity to become part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team ahead of the upcoming tour of New Zealand, it left Warren Gatland having to fill a void on his coaching ticket.
Although Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Steve Borthwick are expected to assist Gatland as the respective defence, backs and forwards coaches next summer, the experienced Kiwi remains keen to add a second backs coach or a designated attack coach.
Continuing Reading Below
In this week’s Oval Office Podcast we speak to Tommy Bowe about Ireland and what the future holds for the winger, plus we review all of last weekend’s action from the autumn internationals.
Various names have been connected with the position in recent days, but little concrete emerged. However that changed this morning when The Telegraph reported that former Fijian Sevens coach, Ben Ryan, is one of three left field candidates being considered for the role.
Ryan has come to prominence after leading Fiji’s sevens team to a gold medal at last summer’s Olympic Games, and is said to be interested in returning to the 15 aside variant of the game. However Ryan remains hugely inexperienced at test level, and Gatland might therefore be tempted to look elsewhere.
The same came be said of Will Greenwood, who The Telegraph believe has also been approached, despite suggestions otherwise.
Finally, Gatland is also thought to be considering Scotland backs coach Jason O’Halloran. The one time capped All Black has made a significant impact under Vern Cotter’s tutelage at Murrayfield, and could be the best placed candidate to fill the vacancy.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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