Warren Gatland has been confirmed as the top coach for the
British & Irish Lions’ Tour of South
Africa in 2021.
Gatland is unbeaten in two consecutive excursions to
Australia and New Zealand as head coach of the Lions, and turns into solely the second particular person to
lead a 3rd tour after Sir Ian McGeechan.

The 55-year-old
will begin as head coach on 1 August 2020, and can work
completely with the Lions till the conclusion of the 2021 tour
to South Africa 12 months later.
Gatland is aware of first-hand
the problem posed by the Springboks, having already been a part of
a touring social gathering to South Africa in 2009 as McGeechan’s forwards
coach, however is assured of delivering success for the Lions in
2021.
Ought to Gatland keep away from defeat, he would create Lions
historical past by changing into the primary particular person to steer excursions to Australia,
New Zealand and South Africa and stay unbeaten.
“I’m
massively honoured and delighted to steer the Lions once more,” mentioned
Gatland. “It’s thrilling and an incredible problem to educate the
finest gamers from the 4 House Nations. The Lions rightly have a
actually particular place within the recreation and I jumped on the probability to be
concerned once more after I was approached in regards to the position. South
Africa is a particular place to play rugby. They’ve a number of the
most iconic stadiums on the planet which might be packed filled with
passionate followers, and the Springboks have proven in latest occasions
that they’re again to being one of many dominant forces within the
recreation. Having toured there in 2009 I do know the dimensions of the
job forward of us – enjoying in South Africa presents a variety of
distinctive challenges resembling enjoying at altitude, whereas the Boks will
at all times be bodily, aggressive and extremely motivated. Historical past tells you it’s a tricky place to tour, however I’m 100 per
cent assured that we will go there and win – I’d not be right here
if I assumed otherwise. I’m delighted to now have
all the pieces in place to start full-time in August 2020 as that
offers me the absolute best probability to plan for South Africa, however
in the interim my focus is totally on the Rugby World Cup and
delivering a profitable marketing campaign for Wales.”
Gatland is
unbeaten in two excursions as head coach of the Lions, successful the Take a look at
sequence 2-1 towards Australia in 2013 earlier than a exceptional tie
towards New Zealand 4 years later – with the vacationers drawing a
dramatic last Take a look at towards the All Blacks.

He’s additionally
presently the longest-serving worldwide rugby coach within the
world, and since his appointment in 2008 Wales have received three
Grand Slams and an additional Six Nations title, in addition to twice
reaching the knock-out phases of the Rugby World Cup.
Following this 12 months’s Grand Slam victory Wales stay on a
record-breaking 14-match successful run, and having additionally coached
Eire from 1998 to 2001, Gatland is unparalleled when it comes to
expertise at worldwide degree with 158 Checks to his identify so
far.
Domestically, Gatland has additionally coached Connacht and
Wasps – successful three English Premiership titles and an Heineken Cup throughout his time in London – earlier than a stint with hometown aspect
Waikato in New Zealand the place he claimed the Air New Zealand Cup.
Ben Calveley, managing director of the British & Irish Lions,
mentioned: “We’re delighted to have gotten our man; Warren is a
world-class coach, boasts a confirmed monitor file, and is aware of the
Lions higher than anybody else presently teaching in world rugby –
so naturally he was our first-choice candidate from the beginning of
the method. This was a unanimous resolution from the Lions
board, and it was vital that we moved swiftly and proactively
to safe Warren’s signature. Appointing him two years
forward of time ensures Warren can be concerned in planning the logistics and scheduling components of the tour. I’m trying ahead
to working alongside him to offer the Lions the perfect probability of
success in South Africa. The supporters are central to
what make the Lions particular, and with the world’s best coach at
the helm, pleasure will develop even additional.”
Lions
chairman Jason Leonard is aware of precisely what it takes to triumph
towards the Springboks – the three-time vacationer performed eight
matches, together with one Take a look at, in 1997 when the Lions final beat
South Africa.
He mentioned, “Warren’s file as a Lions coach
is sort of unparalleled and the problem of shortly mixing a
profitable crew collectively from the 4 House Nations can’t be
overestimated. Considered one of his biggest strengths is the
capacity to galvanise a gaggle shortly, and the final two excursions have
proven clearly that Warren understands – and actually loves – the
Lions. He has the ability set and the know-how to
make a Lions tour work because it ought to, so we’re sure he’s the
proper man to steer us to a Take a look at sequence victory. We could also be
enjoying away within the heartland of South Africa, however I’m assured
that but once more, our incredible supporters will make the matches
really feel like house video games to the crew. To me as a participant, it made all
the distinction, and now I can not wait to be a part of the well-known sea
of pink having fun with the tour of a lifetime.”

Rugby footage:
Photos from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens,

Photos from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,

Photos from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,

Photos from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens,

Photos of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,

Photos of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Video games Qualifier in Hong
Kong,

Photos of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,

Photos from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,

Photos of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,

Photos of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
Photos
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Photos of
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

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