Round-up: Lions go for Gatland to lead 2013 tour – report

 

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The Independent Online

Warren Gatland, the Wales coach, has been offered the job of coaching the British and Irish Lions on their tour of Australia next year, according to reports last night.

The BBC said Gatland, who has just led Wales to the Grand Slam, was interviewed for the job in London on Wednesday. Talks have now commenced between his representatives and Lions' management.

If Gatland, who has returned to his native New Zealand for an extended holiday, agrees to coach the Lions he is expected to take a year off from his Wales position, meaning he will miss next year's Six Nations.

Meanwhile, Wasps' director of rugby, Dai Young, is confident his side will avoid relegation – despite a 10th defeat in 11 games on Saturday. The two-time Heineken Cup winners' 32-15 defeat at Northampton means they are still eight points above bottom club Newcastle with four games left.

The clubs meet in the final game of the season at Wasps' ground and, while Young thinks there will be more twists and turns before then, he believes Wasps will stay up. He said: "We may as well chuck in the towel now if I'm not confident. It's going to be difficult, there are some good teams in this league.

"I'd be lying if I said I had not got half an eye on them. We have got a bit of a cushion at the minute but it will evaporate very quickly if we don't get another win, maybe two wins."

Northampton scored four tries to earn a bonus point, England full-back Ben Foden scoring twice and the others coming from James Downey and Martin Roberts.

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea pledged his backing for Danny Care after the England scrum-half helped his side to a 14-6 home victory over Bath and to a return to the top of the Premiership.

O'Shea kept faith with Care, who has been questioned and bailed by West Yorkshire police over an alleged sexual assault on a woman in Leeds this month. He denies the allegation. Care, dropped from the England squad following a drink-driving conviction, has already accepted a police caution for being drunk and disorderly that night.

O'Shea said: "I was never going to leave him out. He's learning from his mistakes."

England had to be content with fourth place at the Hong Kong Sevens following a crushing 28-0 defeat to South Africa in their third-placed play-off. Fiji went on to win a thrilling final against New Zealand 35-28 and claim their third title of this year's Sevens World Series.

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