Warren Gatland named Lions head coach again

Warren Gatland

Gatland is not the first man to coach the Lions for three consecutive tours, as Ian McGeechan did in 1989, 1993 and 1997.

"I'll focus 100 per cent on the Lions for those 12 months and then hopefully have an opportunity to go back to New Zealand and pick up something and then take it from there".

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

Ben Calveley, managing director of the British & Irish Lions, added: "We're delighted to have got our man; Warren is a world-class coach, boasts a proven track record, and knows the Lions better than anyone else now coaching in world rugby - so naturally he was our first-choice candidate from the start of the process".

"I want to go back".

Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland chat after the Lions series.

Asked if the South Africa tour will represent his last Lions gig, Gatland said: "I think so, yeah. I have been head coach with Waikato and won a championship there, and I want to challenge myself with Super Rugby".

Undoubtedly Gatland and the Lions were more pleased with the outcome but he has at least acknowledged demand could be there for extra time if the series in South Africa is square heading into the final test.

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Warren Gatland is set to be named British and Irish Lions head coach on Wednesday for the 2021 tour to South Africa.

The British and Irish Lions have opted for continuity by appointing New Zealander Warren Gatland as the team's head coach for the 2021 tour to South Africa.

It will be an eight-match tour, three of them being tests.

"When I reflected back on New Zealand the hospitality we had there; the atmosphere in the games was incredible. Alun Wyn Jones comes to mind at the moment, Owen Farrell too".

With just two players included for the 2017 tour, Scotland may be more inclined to allow Gregor Townsend to join the Lions on a short-term basis this time around, too.

Without Sam Warburton, who led the last two tours but who has since retired, Gatland said he would choose as captain someone respected by the entire squad and, ideally, from a successful team.

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

Gatland found the 2017 tour to New Zealand, up against All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, left, tough going. That would be something pretty special if I could achieve that.

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