Gatland hunting Lions in France

Wed, 05 Sep 2012 13:03
Large warren gatland lions press2 Large warren gatland trophies 630 Large warren gatland presser 630

B&I Lions coach Warren Gatland said he would travel to France on Wednesday to meet with potential squad members.

New British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said he would travel to France on Wednesday to meet with potential squad members for the 2013 tour of Australia and discuss the issue of player release.

The French Top 14 Final is on the same day as the Lions' tour opener against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

Toulon alone have several possible 2013 Lions in Jonny Wilkinson, Delon Armitage, Andrew Sheridan, Simon Shaw and Gethin Jenkins.

Meanwhile Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips is at Bayonne while James Hook, another 2009 Lions tourist, moved to Perpignan at the start of this season.

"I am going to France on Wednesday. I will talk to players down there," New Zealander Gatland said after his appointment was confirmed.

"I will watch Perpignan and Bayonne over the weekend," added Gatland, currently the coach of Wales and previously in charge of Ireland and English Premiership side Wasps.

"It is a chance to meet with coaches and talk to players and talk about potential release for the Lions players.

"Ultimately it may be up to the players.

"In 2009, Nathan Hines left Perpignan before a final because the Lions meant so much to him as a player.

"He said 'bugger playing in a French club final I want to be part of a Lions tour'.

"As a management board and coaching staff we will have to discuss that because preparation is so tight.

"If it means players aren't available to get on the plane, it may rule them out," he added.

"We haven't made any hard and fast rules, but we are prepared to make tough and hard decisions."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS