Lions name Warren Gatland as coach for 2021 SA tour

Ruben Hill
June 12, 2019

Warren Gatland was officially unveiled as the British and Irish Lions head coach for the 2021 tour to South Africa on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old led the Lions to victory on their 2013 tour of Australia, with the 2017 tour of his native New Zealand finishing all-square after the decisive third Test ended in a thrilling 15-15 draw at Eden Park in Auckland.

He added: "Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us - playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated".

It also represents a change of heart from Gatland, who after the series against the All Blacks, appeared to rule himself out of doing the role in the future due to frustrations over the shortened nature of the tour and the treatment he received in the New Zealand press.

This would allow Gatland to take up other coaching roles between the end of the World Cup and the following summer.

Gatland revealed he "couldn't turn his back" on the challenge and aims to complete some unfinished business in South Africa. "I'm hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again", said Gatland.

"But one thing of reflecting back was the hospitality we had and the atmosphere of the games was incredible".

"Being a part of the Lions is an opportunity to go to South Africa and finish some unfinished business".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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