Tuesday 21 November 2017

Oops! The Lions look to have given away the identity of their next coach ahead of schedule

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 06: Warren Gatland, the Lions head coach smiles after their victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and British & Irish Lions at ANZ Stadium on July 6, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 06: Warren Gatland, the Lions head coach smiles after their victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and British & Irish Lions at ANZ Stadium on July 6, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

It wasn't exactly a secret, but it looks like the Lions have accidentally revealed that Warren Gatland will coach the team on the tour of New Zealand in the summer of 2017.

The Kiwi is expected to be formally announced as the Lions boss tomorrow morning, reprising the role he held on the winning tour to Australia in 2013. However, an eagle-eyed Twitter user spotted Gatland on the street earlier this afternoon in what appeared to be an unofficial photo-op in some Lions gear - seeming to confirm his appointment ahead of schedule.

Gatland will take an immediate leave of absence from his position as Wales head coach should tomorrow's announcement go as expected, but it will be interesting to see the make-up of his backroom team.

Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell held the same role in 2013, with the Lions' rearguard proving to be particularly stingy in the test series against Australia.

Should Farrell be selected, he won't have to leave his Ireland post.

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