Lions door open for Gatland

Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:13
Large warren gatland hands on hip

Warren Gatland's new contract as Wales coach will not stop him from taking charge of the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

Warren Gatland's new contract as Wales coach will not stop him from taking charge of the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have extended Gatland's contract until the World Cup in 2019, but he will still be able to lead the Lions again when they tour his native New Zealand in four years time.

The former Ireland and Wasps coach led the Lions to their first series victory since 1997 in Australia this year, and has said he would relish the challenge of taking on the All Blacks in 2017.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis explained that the terms of Gatland's contract have not changed, which means that he will be available to take charge of the Lions for a second time if he is asked to.

There is no specific clause in his contract which allows him to coach the Lions, but Lewis told the BBC that they will not stan in his way if he is given the role again.

"If the Lions want to consider Warren then we will certainly have that discussion.

"We will do everything we can to support as we did in 2013. We will do the same for 2017," he said.

Gatland has already confirmed that he is interested in taking the Lions on a second tour, but he made it clear that he still has to prove his worth.

"If I had the opportunity to be involved [with the Lions] again, that's going to be because of Wales being successful in the next couple of years.

"If my whole focus and contemplation is on Wales, then if Wales are successful, you put yourself in the frame.

"Then after that it's potentially maybe the Lions approaching you, then it's negotiating release with the WRU.

"And that's exactly what happened in 2012 before the Lions this year.

"The contract this time is exactly the same as what I had last time, so nothing's changed with regard to that," he added.

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