Warren Gatland has been named British & Irish Lions coach for a third term.
Gatland is unbeaten in two consecutive tours to Australia and New Zealand as head coach of the Lions, and following today’s appointment becomes only the second person to lead a third tour after Sir Ian McGeechan.
The New Zealand native began his coaching career with Connaught before leading Ireland from 1998-2001.
As Welsh head coach from 2007 to date, he’s helped the nation to four 6 Nations titles and three Grand Slams along with a spot at the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
He’s also the longest serving international rugby coach in the world.
Should Gatland avoid defeat, he would create Lions history by becoming the first person to lead tours to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and remain unbeaten.
“I’m hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again,” said Gatland on the announcement.
“It is exciting and a great challenge to coach the best players from the four Home Nations. The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.”
“South Africa is a special place to play rugby. They have some of the most iconic stadiums in the world which will be packed full of passionate fans, and the Springboks have shown in recent times that they are back to being one of the dominant forces in the game.’
The 55-year-old will start as head coach on 1 August 2020, and will work exclusively with the Lions until the conclusion of the 2021 tour to South Africa 12 months later.