Neil Jenkins appointed assistant coach for the Lions tour - International - Rugby Union - The Independent

Neil Jenkins appointed assistant coach for the Lions tour

The former Wales fly-half will perform the role of technical kicking coach

Neil Jenkins has been appointed as an assistant coach for this summer's British and Irish Lions tour to Hong Kong and Australia.

Former Wales fly-half Jenkins will perform the role of technical kicking coach, a position he filled on the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa.

Jenkins will work alongside fellow Lions assistants Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Graham Rowntree under the direction of head coach Warren Gatland.

Jenkins, 41, scored more than 1,000 points for Wales, while his goal-kicking proved an integral part of the Lions' 2-1 Test series victory over South Africa in 1997.

"Neil was one of the foremost kickers in the game, both out of the hand and in terms of goal-kicking, during his career," Gatland said.

"He has been working in the coaching environment in this crucial area with great success in recent years with Wales.

"The tour to Australia will be one hell of a challenge, and we need to ensure that our approach in all aspects of the game is first-rate.

"Tactical kicking, when to kick, how to kick, and of course converting points through penalties and conversions is crucial to on-field success.

"Neil brings extensive knowledge to the squad in this area, and the players can only benefit from this."

Jenkins, who is currently part of the Wales coaching staff, added: "It is a great honour to once again be part of a British and Irish Lions tour.

"I am delighted and grateful to have been offered this opportunity to join the 2013 coaching staff.

"As a player I was lucky enough to tour Australia with the Lions in 2001. Like 1997, it was a terrific series, but unfortunately we lost 2-1.

"I have clear ideas of what I would like to contribute, and I cannot wait to get out on to the training pitch and get started."

Gatland is due to announce his playing squad for the 10-match tour in London next Tuesday.

The Lions face the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1, then play nine games in Australia, including three Tests against the Wallabies.

The Lions also announced today that Ireland team doctor Eanna Falvey has been appointed as assistant to Lions team doctor James Robson.

PA

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