Warren Gatland could be set to emulate the legendary Sir Ian McGeechan by leading the British and Irish Lions for a third time in 2021, when the Lions return to South Africa, the last time the Scot coached the tourists.
Fresh off the back of a drawn series against the double-defending world champions New Zealand on their home turf, Gatland is reportedly open to taking the reigns once more and completing the set in 2021, when the Lions return to South Africa for the first time since 2009.
According to South African news outlet Sport24, the current Wales boss has not yet had his fill of the Lions and despite planning to end his long association with Wales Rugby following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is not ruling out the possibility of a third Lions tour.
“There’s a possibility that there’s an opportunity there again, and it’s something that you might consider.
“Obviously the South Africa thing’s a little bit easier in terms of the timeframes and stuff and travelling. But we’d hope we don’t let the next four years go before we start planning and putting things into place.
“Those discussions need to happen now, about just having some reasonable preparation time.
“I’m not being stupid, as a coach, I wouldn’t be asking for a month. I think just a week in the UK or Ireland beforehand and a week in South Africa before the first game is reasonable.
“And maybe not have a midweek game in the first week before the Test so we can prepare properly. Hopefully the powers in the game will act to preserve something that is special.”
Gatland now boasts an impressive record as Lion coach. A series victory over Australia in 2013 and a drawn series against New Zealand this past week now sees the Kiwi as one of the most decorated coaches yet to lead the Lions on a tour of the southern hemisphere giants.
While his decisions may not suit everyone and with rumblings of Welsh favouritism swirling ever since his dropping of Brian O’Driscoll back in 2013, there is simply no denying that the 53-year-old has overseen one of the most impressive periods of Lions performances in their history.
Love him or hate him, it appears the Lions benefit from his leadership. Who are we to say he does not deserve another crack of the whip?
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