Warren Gatland to lead the Lions for third time

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Warren Gatland, the newly appointed British and Irish Lions Head Coach speaks to media during the British and Irish Lions Head Coach Announcement at London Syon Park Hotel on June 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Warren Gatland has been appointed Head Coach for the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa in 2021.

The New Zealander, who led Wales to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2019, will reprise his role with the British and Irish Lions for a record-equalling third time in a row. Only Sir Ian McGeechan has led more tours.

He will leave his role with Wales after the World Cup later this year, with the Lions role beginning on August 1, 2020.

You can watch the full press conference announcing this decision here:

Warren Gatland jumped at the chance to coach the Lions again

Speaking at the British and Irish Lions press conference Gatland said:

“I’m delighted to now have everything in place to begin full-time in August 2020 as that gives me the best possible chance to plan for South Africa, but for the time being my focus is entirely on the Rugby World Cup and delivering a successful campaign for Wales.”

“It is exciting and a great challenge to coach the best players from the four Home Nations. The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.”

Success in Australia and New Zealand

As Head Coach on the previous two tours Warren Gatland has overseen three wins, a draw and two defeats to return a series win and a series draw.

Relive his greatest result – the victory over New Zealand in Wellington – here:

He will of course be aiming to complete the full set of tours without a series defeat; an achievement that would set him apart from McGeechan. He has experience of a South Africa tour as Forwards Coach in 2009, but can he record a series win there this time?

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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