Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Warren Gatland announced as Lions coach for 2021 tour of South Africa

Warren Gatland announced as Lions coach for 2021 tour of South Africa

Warren Gatland has been confirmed as the head coach of the British & Irish Lions for the tour of South Africa in 2021.

He added: "South Africa is a special place to play rugby".

"I can categorically tell you now I will definitely not be coaching England", Gatland told TalkSport.

"My understanding is Eddie is going to re-sign isn't he for a bit longer".

The 55-year-old will depart his position as Wales head coach after this year's World Cup in Japan.

"I'll focus 100% on the Lions for those 12 months and then hopefully have an opportunity to go back to New Zealand and pick up something and then take it from there".

After securing his third Grand Slam this year with Wales, and with other contenders such as Joe Schmidt and Eddie Jones distancing themselves from the role, it was Gatland's for the taking.

But he plans to call an end to his stint in Europe after the Lions tour, and has eyed up a job in Super Rugby.

After the New Zealand tour, Gatland said that the squeeze on preparation time was putting the whole Lions concept at risk but the 2021 tour looks set to be even tighter.

"I want to go back".

"The challenge for me as a head coach is to go undefeated in Test series".

"I jumped at the chance to be involved again", Gatland said at his presentation in central London on Wednesday.

The Lions' last series victory against the Springboks came in 1997, also under McGeechan, when the host nation were world champions.

"Scrutiny of the press was at the forefront at the time, but the hospitality in New Zealand, the atmosphere in the games, it was incredible".

"I've been extremely privileged to have the honour of being involved with the Lions, this will be my fourth tour, and I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity".

"Potentially those two are players that you'd talk about".

Gatland was forwards coach under McGeechan for the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa, which won the test series 2-1.

"I know it'll be tough, it will be a real rugby hotbed".

Speaking about his latest appointment, which was widely expected, Gatland said he had "unfinished business" against the Springboks.

After sharing the spoils with the All Blacks Gatland said he was not convinced that a similar scenario in two years' time should be settled by extra time. If I was able to achieve that, and the squad were able to achieve that, it would be something pretty special.

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