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Wed, 14 April 2021

British & Irish Lions Confirm Coaching Team for 2021 Tour to South Africa

Warren Gatland, Head Coach of the British & Irish Lions, has confirmed the coaching team for the 2021 Tour to South Africa.

Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Robin McBryde (Leinster Rugby), Steve Tandy (Scotland) and Neil Jenkins (Wales) will assist Gatland for the Tour to the home of reigning world champions, the Springboks, as well as the pre-Tour Test match against Japan at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, 26 June for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.

"I am very pleased to have assembled such a high-quality coaching team," said Gatland. "Its a really strong group and Im excited to see what we can achieve together I think well all complement each other well in South Africa ... As the Tour approaches we may look to bring in some extra resource, but this will be the core group for the time being. Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge and clearly when the squad assembles in June to begin our preparations everything is going to look and feel a bit different to previous tours. But having spoken to the coaches individually over the past few days were absolutely determined to make it an enjoyable, memorable and ultimately successful experience for everyone involved."

The British & Irish Lions in action against the Barbarians in Hong Kong in 2013. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Scotland head coach Townsend will take charge of the Lions attack. This will be the first time the former Scottish fly half will have been part of a Lions coaching team, having previously toured South Africa triumphantly as a player in 1997.

"To be involved as a player and now as a coach is truly humbling," Townsend said. "The Springboks are a formidable opponent on home turf, but looking at the talent in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to do something special. One of the great challenges of a Lions Tour is to bring together players from four different countries, in a short space of time, and create an attacking threat that will cause the opposition problems. Its something I am already looking forward to."

Tandy part of Townsends Scottish coaching setup will be responsible for the Lions defence.

"To take on the World Champions in their own backyard is a massive test and one I am really looking forward to being part of," said Tandy. "There have been some brilliant Lions defence coaches in the past Andy Farrell, Shaun Edwards and Phil Larder so its a huge honour to be chosen. From a defence perspective we need to make sure we get everyone on the same page as quickly as possible. I am sure Gregor and I will benefit greatly from this experience and gain valuable knowledge about the Springboks ahead of the Rugby World Cup in two years time."

Former Wales assistant coach McBryde, now an assistant coach at Guinness PRO14 club Leinster Rugby, will take responsibility of the forwards.

"I am very much looking forward to linking up with Warren and being part of his coaching group again," McBryde said. "Weve seen some excellent rugby in the Six Nations recently with some stand out performances by players from the four Home Nations especially some of the forwards. Thats really positive for the Lions. South African rugby is known for its physicality, so well be under no illusions of what to expect when we arrive. The challenge for us will be to come together quickly and be physical and uncompromising in the way we play. I am grateful and excited for the opportunity ahead, but my focus will remain with Leinster until the end of the season and Im incredibly grateful to them for allowing me to tour."

Welsh kicking coach Jenkins will look after the kickers. This will be his sixth Tour as both a player and coach.

"The Lions is a unique experience for players and coaches," said Jenkins. "To bring together the best players from four countries and take on the Springboks in their own backyard is very exciting. To do it with one of my Lions teammates from 24 years ago is incredibly special for me."

McBryde will remain with Leinster until the conclusion of the season before joining up with Gatland.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Lions, South Africa, Rugby.

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