Gatland to lead Lions

Warren Gatland has been confirmed as the British and Irish Lions coach for their tour to New Zealand in 2017.

The long-serving Wales mentor was officially unveiled as the Lions’ head coach at a press conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday, reprising the role he fulfilled during the successful 2013 tour of Australia.

The New Zealand-born coach will start immediately and work exclusively with the Lions until the end of next year's tour, with the rest of his coaching group set to be named at the end of the year.

'Coaching the Lions is a great privilege,' Gatland commented. 'The 2013 tour was a real career highlight for me and I am honoured to be offered the role again. The chance to work with the best players from the four home nations is a coach's dream and we have some outstanding talent to select from.

'Likewise, there are some outstanding coaches who could potentially be involved and we'll look to announce them in December. I'm looking forward to seeing how they and the players get on domestically, in Europe and internationally.

'I know from having been in New Zealand recently how much excitement there is ahead of next year. For the All Blacks, a Lions series is the ultimate test but I am 100% confident that we can go and win in New Zealand.'

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Craig Lewis