British and Irish Lions 2013: Warren Gatland says victory over New Zealand is possible
They have not beaten the All Blacks for 42 years
Monday 08 July 2013
Warren Gatland believes the next crop of British and Irish Lions will have what it takes to end a 42-year wait for a Test series victory over New Zealand when the two sides meet in four years' time.
This year's Lions squad are still celebrating a 2-1 success over Australia - their first Test series win since 1997 - achieved with a number of exciting young players playing crucial roles.
Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Alex Corbisiero, Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau all shone and Gatland expects them to be the world-class talent at the heart of the 2017 touring squad.
Asked if he thought the Lions could win in New Zealand, current Lions boss Gatland said: "Yes, I think if we get things right in terms of the preparation and stuff.
"If you look at how young this squad is, a lot of them could be around in four years' time.
"If they are playing well enough and you have got four more years' experience on some young heads, some young shoulders and they are in their late 20s, that potentially makes the Lions squad in four years' time incredibly strong.
"You've always got to believe that when you go somewhere you go there to win.
"I know we talk about 2005 (New Zealand) being disappointing, and for us the motivation in 2009 (South Africa) was about respect and getting respect back for that jersey.
"The whole focus on this tour was about delivering the Test series win."
For Gatland, his immediate future lies with a return to coaching Wales, which will see him take them through to World Cup 2015 in England. At the last tournament, Wales were beaten semi-finalists.
Gatland became only the fifth Lions coach in the modern era to mastermind a Test series victory, but he is now only focusing on his return to Wales and taking the reins back from caretaker head coach Robin McBryde and not a possible return in 2017.
"I am committed to Wales for the World Cup," Gatland said.
"Now that the Lions has finished, I am really excited about potentially what Wales could achieve with the group of players that we've got, with the talent that we've got.
"I think we've got a chance of doing well in terms of the Six Nations and World Cups.
"After that, after 2015 I will think about my future.
"I may just hang up the boots and go to the beach, sit down with a glass of red wine and a cigar."
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