Warren Gatland offered Lions role

 

Wales coach Warren Gatland has received an offer to lead the British and Irish Lions on their tour of Australia next year, Press Association Sport understands.

It is understood that Gatland was interviewed for the role of head coach, along with Ireland's Declan Kidney and Scotland's Andy Robinson, in London last week.

The 48-year-old New Zealander is the outstanding candidate for the role after guiding Wales to a second RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam in his four-year tenure and has previous Lions experience having been part of the backroom staff for the 2009 tour to South Africa.

The Lions plan to unveil their choice for head coach at the end of April or the start of May, and it is understood that initial talks have been held between Gatland, the Lions and the Welsh Rugby Union regarding the terms of his release from Wales duty for the tour.

 



One of the key areas of discussion will be whether Gatland takes charge of Wales for their autumn international schedule later this year.

The Lions would ideally like their head coach to be available for a 12-month period prior to the trip Down Under.

Gatland is set to head to Australia when Wales tour there in June, which could prove valuable in terms of preparation for taking the cream of British and Irish rugby back there next year, and the WRU are understood to be keen for him to also be in charge come November, before stepping aside for the 2013 RBS 6 Nations.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis told The Guardian: "We have had informal discussions with the British and Irish Lions over the last few months and we have talked to Warren about this for the best part of a year.

"Warren does not have a clause in his contract which contains provision for him to coach the Lions, but we are hugely supportive of him and them.

"What I will say is that there is no question that Warren will not be leading Wales on our very important tour to Australia and I, personally, would like him to be involved in our autumn Tests against New Zealand and Australia in Cardiff."

Should he land the Lions job, Gatland may choose to include Wales assistants Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley, and England forwards coach Graham Rowntree, who all went to South Africa in 2009, in his coaching team.

Gatland would also become just the second overseas coach to take charge of the world's most famous touring side.

His fellow New Zealander and then Wales coach Graham Henry led the 2001 tour to Australia, where the Lions lost the series 2-1 despite an emphatic first Test win in Brisbane.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee