Gatland reveals his backroom staff

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:42

NEWS: Andy Farrell, Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley will be Warren Gatland's specialist coaches for the daunting British and Irish Lions tour of world champions New Zealand.

All three were widely touted to be named, especially after Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and future Scotland national handler Gregor Townsend said they wished not to be considered.

Gatland, who has been replaced on a temporary basis by Howley as Wales coach whilst he prepares for the tour, said the trio were his 'core coaching team' though he might add one more to the roster.

"I am excited about this coaching team," said Gatland, who guided the Lions to a series win over Australia in 2013.

"I said from the outset it was important to have continuity because we need to hit the ground running, given the limited preparation time.

"In Rob and Andy, we have guys who understand the Lions concept, have worked together and know how to coach a winning Lions team.

"It's also important to have some new input. Steve has done a great job in shaping the England pack and played a major role in their recent run of success, so I am looking forward to working with him."

Ireland defence strategist Farrell, 41, filled that role on the Australia tour and has boosted his reputation as since joining the Irish after this year's Six Nations they have beaten all three of the Southern Hemisphere heavyweights - the first team from the Northern Hemisphere to achieve that in a calendar year since England in 2003.

Howley, 46, has been a trusted lieutenant of Gatland's since being hired as Wales attack coach when the New Zealander took over the national coach role in 2008.

Former England captain Borthwick's stock rose on the back of Japan's impressive World Cup campaign last year when he was the forwards coach - which included a victory over two-time world champions South Africa.

The 37-year-old former lock moved to the England set-up when former 'Brave Blossoms' boss Eddie Jones took over the reins after the departure of Stuart Lancaster - under whom Farrell was defence coach - following a first round World Cup exit.

Jones, with Borthwick in tow, has since seen the revitalised England team win 14 Tests in a row.

The size of the task facing the Lions is that they are bidding to record just their second series win against Gatland's native New Zealand - Carwyn James's side in 1971 being the benchmark for them.

The three-Test series against the All Blacks will be the culmination of a 10-fixture tour that includes five games against Super Rugby opposition and a clash with the Maoris.

Adding to his problems is a fixture pile-up domestically.

The Lions' first match in New Zealand takes place early in June, just a week after the English Premiership and Celtic League finals.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0