England duo to get Lions call?

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:15
Rowntree-and-farrell630 Graham-rowntree-_-stuart-la

England assistant coaches Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell are expected to be named as assistants to British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland next week.

Gatland is due to confirm his coaching staff in an official announcement on Wednesday, and at this stage Rowntree and Farrell appear to be front-runners to join the Kiwi's team, according to reports in the British media.

Wales interim coach Rob Howley is also expected to be named as part of the set-up, which will see him join Gatland and Rowntree in making it consecutive Lions tours having been a part of Ian McGeechan's team that lost to the Springboks in 2009.

Howley has temporarily replaced Gatland as Wales boss, and will take charge of the team for the Six Nations as the New Zealander ramps up preparations for the Lions' tour of Australia in June.

The scrumhalf legend has struggled as Welsh mentor in Gatland's absence this year, with the Six Nations Grand Slam champions losing their last seven games on the trot.

Rowntree and Farrell have helped rebuild the England side under Stuart Lancaster, with their year crowned with a historic win over the world champion All Blacks at Twickenham.