Wednesday 19th April 2017
WARBURTON TO CAPTAIN LIONS FOR SECOND TOUR
SAM Warburton of Cardiff Blues and Wales will lead the Lions for a second consecutive Tour, an honour only ever achieved once before by Martin Johnson in 1997 and 2001.
Warburton will be supported by a number of former Lions with 2 players on their third and 14 on their second Tour. The squad consists of 22 forwards and 19 backs, with Maro Itoje the youngest player at the age of 22.
Gatland, who spoke to Warburton on Thursday afternoon last week, explained: "Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain. We believe that Sam's experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain. He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work.”
On the eve of the announcement Warburton attended a private dinner with all the living Lions captains in the Hilton Syon Park.
He said: "Being in the same room as so many Lions legends was an amazing experience. I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second Tour and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the UK and Ireland at my side.”
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD 2017
Tuesday 18th April 2017
Monday 17th April 2017
Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Thursday 16th March 2017
JENKINS & ROWNTREE JOIN LIONS COACHING TEAM
NEIL Jenkins and Graham Rowntree will join The British & Irish Lions coaching team for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand.
Wales' Jenkins and Harlequins' Rowntree will, along with fellow coaches Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley, complete the team headed by Warren Gatland.
Both will be touring with the Lions for the fifth time – twice as players and three times as coaches, including the successful series in Australia in 2013.
Gatland said: "We all know what Neil and Graham bring – a huge amount of knowledge, experience and expertise at club, international and eight Lions Tours between them. They understand what it will take to win in New Zealand and to have them on board again is positive.
"I know Graham and Steve will complement each other and Neil will give us valuable backs and skills support. Given the schedule, with two games a week, having six coaches will allow us to devote enough time to ensuring we are successful.
"I believe we have a coaching team that will get the best out of what will be a highly talented and motivated group of players capable of winning the Test series.”
Jenkins said: "It is a huge honour to be asked to be part of the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour. The Lions is a special and unique side and I am fortunate to be heading on my fifth tour.
"I am excited to be joining up with a very experienced, successful coaching team for what is going to be a huge challenge against the World Champions.
"I have experienced two series wins, most recently in 2013 and I'm looking forward to getting out on the training pitch and preparing for the challenge this summer.”
Rowntree said: "I am honoured to be asked to tour with The British & Irish Lions again and I really am thankful to Harlequins, John Kingston and David Ellis for allowing me to go.
"Having experienced the highs and the lows of the Lions as a player and a coach, I know how special it is. This year will be the ultimate challenge considering the form that New Zealand have been in across the last decade, but looking at the talent and potential in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to do something incredible.
"I am grateful and excited for the opportunity ahead, but my attention will firmly remain on Harlequins until the conclusion of our season.”
Born: 08.07.71 | Church Village
GRAHAM ‘WIG’ ROWNTREE
Born: 18.04.71 | Stockton-on-Tees
Wednesday 8th March 2017
Wednesday 15th February 2017
Wednesday 18th January 2017
Wednesday 7th December 2016
Wednesday 23rd November 2016
Wednesday 16th November 2016
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Wednesday 19th October 2016
Wednesday 14th September 2016
Wednesday 7th September 2016
GATLAND ANNOUNCED AS LIONS COACH 2017
RUGBY'S worst kept secret has been officially revealed in Edinburgh at the offices of British & Irish Lions Principal Partners, Standard Life. Kiwi & Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland has been formally unveiled as the British & Irish Lions Coach for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand. Gats has previous form with winning the 2013 Tour in Australia, and will be announcing his assistant coaches on 7th December 2016.
"It's a huge honour, and you get offered the biggest job in world rugby against the best opposition in world rugby, you get that sort of challenge and it's very very difficult to walk away from that. When I was offered the position, it was definitely a yes straight away," said Gatland at the press conference.
With regard to back room staff, Gatland pondered "You want some continuity, and there's a limited amount of preoparation time. But it's also important to bring some fresh faces and some fresh ideas, so we're looking to name the back up, support staff and management on December 7th."
Gatland is wasting no time in getting his feet under the table of his new role: "That's started already; I fly tomorrow to New Zealand to do a recce looking at hotels and training venues. And I get a chance to see the All Blacks on Saturday in Hamilton against Argentina, and next week in Christchurch against South Africa.
"I'm incredibly excited. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we've got the ability to go to New Zealand and win with a group of talented and exciting players, with some experience as well. I think players are very well aware of how important the next few months are with the Autumn Series, Six Nations and club form as well, and I think a lot of them will be desperate to get on that plane and to be selected to go on a tour which is obviously a massive challenge, but could be very very special."
Take a look back at how Warren Gatland led the Lions to their historic victory against Australia in 2013 here:
Tuesday 12th July 2016
Friday 3rd June 2016
Thursday 2nd June 2016
Tuesday 23rd February 2015
Friday 27th November 2015