Warren Gatland Names Two Players He's Considering For Lions 2021 Captaincy

Tanya Simon
June 12, 2019

It will be Gatland's fourth tour with the Lions after he worked as an assistant to Ian McGeechan during the last tour to South Africa in 2009.

The 55-year-old led the Lions to victory on their 2013 tour of Australia, with the 2017 tour of his native New Zealand finishing all-square after the decisive third Test ended in a thrilling 15-15 draw at Eden Park in Auckland. Gatland's latest appointment was confirmed at a press conference in London.

It was reported last month that a verbal agreement with Gatland had been agreed by the Lions, who now have 2003 England World Cup victor Jason Leonard working as their chairman.

He will take up his role on August 1 2020 and it will conclude at the end of the tour. His unveiling as Lions coach was anticipated, but he had been linked with a return to New Zealand, as well as succeeding Eddie Jones as England head coach.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley described Gatland as a "world-class coach" with a "proven track record", who "knows the Lions better than anyone else now coaching in world rugby".

Gatland's coaching team - Rob Howley, Robin McBryde and Shaun Edwards - will remain in place until after the World Cup.

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"This was a unanimous decision from the Lions board and it was important that we moved swiftly and proactively to secure Warren's signature", he said.

He said, after coaching the Lions, that he plans to come home after touring South Africa with the Lions in 2021. "It's a tough place to tour but I'm excited about the challenges". "But two years is a long time and you never know what's going to happen in the game".

"The planning and scheduling hasn't been finalised yet and negotiations are under way with how much time we'll have together before we go away as a group on the tour".

'From my experience one of the biggest things to try and achieve on a Lions tour is that it is not about what you do on the field, but what you do off the field, ' he continued.

'One of the things that we have done in the last previous Tours is we have said to all the players in the squad we have guaranteed them a start in the first three games.

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