Warren Gatland has confirmed he is in talks with Stuart Lancaster about the latter possibly joining the British & Irish Lions coaching staff for next year’s tour.
Gatland is said to be travelling from New Zealand to the United Kingdom and Ireland in the coming weeks to start discussions around his coaching team for the Lions tour of South Africa in 2021.
Lancaster last coached at Test level with England in 2015, but was sacked from his position as head coach after England crashed out in the pool stage of the World Cup almost five years ago.
Speaking on Will Greenwood’s Sky Sports podcast, Gatland, who will take charge of the Lions for a third time next year, said: ‘I’ve spoken to Stuart and we’ve had a couple of conversations.
‘I think you’ve got to take your hat off to Stuart. He finished with England, then he’s gone away and he’s done some professional development; gone around and looked at other sports, and then he’s taken up this role with Leinster.
‘We met before the last tour and he spoke to me about his opinions on the Leinster players and the Irish players and gave me an insight into them and I appreciated that.
‘He’s definitely one person that I’ve spoken to and had a couple of conversations with him, but there’s a number of other people that I’ll be looking to talk to.
‘The first step is to get clarity from unions and the bosses and then potentially club CEOs about who is available, who isn’t available.’
Gatland is currently living in his native New Zealand, where he is coaching the Chiefs. But his side has slumped to a franchise record- seven straight defeats, resulting in a public outcry for Gatland to be sacked.
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