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, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS