• Gatland: Schmidt can have Lions job

    Warren Gatland says Joe Schmidt can take over as the head coach of the British & Irish Lions if he wants the job.

    Schmidt has been linked with the coveted position for some time now, after guiding Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015.

    Speaking at the launch of the 2016 Six Nations, the Wales boss jokingly offered the Lions post to his fellow-Kiwi counterpart, admitting he'd rather enjoy next year's tour of New Zealand as a spectator.

    'Schmidt can have the job if he wants it. Have you seen the schedule? It's a really tough tour. I'm not saying the Lions can't win, but it's a very tough schedule,' Gatland said. 

    'It's the hardest place in the world to go and play, from a travel and organisation perspective as well as the rugby perspective. The team has an away dinner the Sunday, fly on the Monday, arrive there the Wednesday and play their first game the Saturday, followed by a Test match two weeks later,' lamented Gatland, who oversaw the Lions' tour of Australia three years ago.

    'If I got offered it again it would be difficult to turn down. But if you weren't involved and didn't get it, you may think “thank my lucky stars” and go and enjoy it as a spectator.'

    Photo: AFP Photo

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    Mariette Adams