Gatland to coach the Lions


Two years ago the last series, of course, finished with the dramatic and controversial 15-all draw in the third "deciding" test in Auckland.

He said, after coaching the Lions, that he plans to come home after touring South Africa with the Lions in 2021.

"We may be playing away in the heartland of South Africa but I am confident that yet again we will have enormous support and they will feel like home games", he said. "I know there was criticism of how we handled bringing in extra players in 2017".

Gatland has committed himself fully to the Lions until after the 2021 tour.

"That's definitely going to be one of the iconic photos that will go down in history as part of Lions heritage".

Gatland won't confirm his assistant coaches until closer to the tour, but incoming Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is in line to be selected.

Warren Gatland has been named head coach of the British and Irish Lions for a record third time and will lead the Lions on their 2021 tour to South Africa.

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Should he achieve that feat, Gatland will be the first Lions coach to claim three unbeaten tours over the southern nations.

"I would love to be involved with Super Rugby and to challenge myself with that", he told the BBC.

He initially appeared reluctant to continue his successful Lions reign claiming he was hurt by an "orchestrated campaign" of criticism by the New Zealand media in 2017. It's probably the hardest thing you'll ever do as a coach in terms of planning and preparation and the scrutiny of the press is always something that's at the forefront of a Lions tour.

His policy in New Zealand and the victorious Australian tour four years earlier was to guarantee everyone in the squad at least one start in the first three games. "We spoke about the potential and I couldn't turn my back on the challenge".

The 55-year-old will depart his position as Wales head coach after this year's World Cup in Japan.

This suggests that it will not be the same as the previous two tours for the Welsh players.

Gatland also confirmed this would be his final Lions tour. I would not be here if I thought differently. "I have been head coach with Waikato and won a championship there, and I want to challenge myself with Super Rugby". That would be something pretty special if I could achieve that. I will have done a full round of tours. "I am so thankful to be given the opportunity".