Jones: Gatland should never coach the Lions again

Former Wales captain Gwyn Jones says the “disaster” of the 2021 Lions series should ensure Warren Gatland never coaches the British & Irish Lions again.

The former Wales flanker turned pundit was writing in a column for WalesOnline, in which he reviewed the action that took place in 2021.

In his review of the 2021 Lions series, which the Springboks claimed 2-1,  Jones wrote that both coaches created a “toxic environment” which saw the game “reach new lows”.

Jones also opined that Gatland’s conservative tactics were uninspiring and he should never coach the team again.

“The Lions series was a disaster. The two most stubborn and uncompromising coaches in world rugby tried to beat each other by being the most negative. Rugby reached new lows, on and off the field.

“I’ve always hated the mind games in the press that others seem to enjoy. It spilt over during this series and created a toxic environment that dragged the reputation of the game to unnecessary depths.

“On the field, South Africa held a mirror up to Warrenball as the two sides conspired to play the least inspiring game of rugby in history. With the help of endless TMO intervention, they succeeded.

“The only light relief came from loose cannon Finn Russell; a flyhalf unwilling to be shackled by the Warren Gatland strait-jacket. Suddenly it looked like a game of rugby again, but it was too late.

“The rest of the Lions players were unable to re-engage their rugby playing minds after weeks of methodical removal of their free will.

“What saddens me about this tour is that this was meant to be the highlight of their careers. These talented and enthusiastic young men are at the pinnacle of their profession and the memories they have will not be what they should have been.

“There is no shame in losing, but by being so conservative and risk averse, they were prevented from giving it their best shot. That must be a huge regret.

“It should also dissuade the Lions committee of appointing Warren Gatland ever again.”


Post by