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Lions Daily Blog 2013

Wednesday 19th April 2017


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.

Sam Warburton Lions CoachesWarburton 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 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD 2017 British & Irish Lions

Rory Best Ulster Rugby Ireland British & Irish Lions #793
Dan Cole Leicester Tigers England British & Irish Lions #794
Taulupe Faletau Bath Rugby Wales British & Irish Lions #779
Tadhg Furlong Leinster Rugby Ireland
Jamie GeorgeSaracens England
Iain Henderson Ulster Rugby Ireland
Maro ItojeSaracens England
Alun Wyn Jones Ospreys Wales British & Irish Lions #761
George KruisSaracens England
Courtney Lawes Northampton Saints England
Joe Marler Harlequins England
Jack McGrath Leinster Rugby Ireland
Ross Moriarty Gloucester Rugby Wales
Sean O'Brien Leinster Rugby Ireland British & Irish Lions #796
Peter O'Mahony Munster Rugby Ireland
Ken Owens Scarlets Wales
Kyle Sinckler Harlequins England
CJ Stander Munster Rugby Ireland
Justin Tipuric Ospreys Wales British & Irish Lions #786
Mako Vunipola Saracens England British & Irish Lions #787
Billy Vunipola Saracens England
SAM WARBURTON (C) Cardiff Blues Wales British & Irish Lions #800

Dan Biggar Ospreys Wales
Elliot Daly Wasps England
Jonathan Davies Scarlets Wales British & Irish Lions #778
Owen Farrell Saracens England British & Irish Lions #780
Leigh Halfpenny Toulon Wales British & Irish Lions #775
Robbie Henshaw Leinster Rugby Ireland
Stuart Hogg Glasgow Warriors Scottish Rugby British & Irish Lions #783
Jonathan Joseph Bath Rugby England
Conor Murray Munster Rugby Ireland British & Irish Lions #790
George North Northampton Saints Wales British & Irish Lions #792
Jack Nowell Exeter Chiefs England
Jared Payne Ulster Rugby Ireland
Jonathan Sexton Leinster Rugby Ireland British & Irish Lions #791
Tommy Seymour Glasgow Warriors Scottish Rugby
Ben Te'o Worcester Warriors England
Anthony Watson Bath Rugby England
Rhys Webb Ospreys Wales
Liam Williams Scarlets Wales
Ben Youngs Leicester Tigers England British & Irish Lions #799




Tuesday 18th April 2017




Monday 17th April 2017




Wednesday 22nd March 2017




Thursday 16th March 2017


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
Union: Wales
Playing Career: Pontypridd (1990-99, 2002-03), Cardiff (1999-02), Celtic Warriors (2003-04), Wales (1991-03), British and Irish Lions (1997, 2001)
Coaching Career: Wales Skills Coach (2004- ) British & Irish Lions (2009, 2013)

Neil Jenkins 'Jenks' will embark on his fifth British & Irish Lions tour, having previously toured twice as a player in 1997 and 2001 and twice as a coach in 2009 and 2013.

He has been part of two winning Lions series, his first as a player against South Africa in 1997 and the second as part of Warren Gatland's series winning coaching team in Australia in 2013.

Born in Church Village, Wales, Jenkins made 237 appearances for Pontypridd, amassing 3,185 points.  He went onto play for Cardiff and Celtic Warriors at the inception of regional rugby before retiring in 2004.

In the international game he scored a then world record 1,090 points in 91 tests for Wales and the Lions and still remains the record points scorer for Wales.

He made his international debut for Wales in 1991, earning 87 caps for his country.  He toured South Africa and Australia with The British & Irish Lions, earning four Test caps.

He joined the Welsh Rugby Union as skills coach in 2004 and began working with the national squad in 2006.  In that time he has been part of a management team that has won two Grand Slams and a Six Nations title.


Born: 18.04.71 | Stockton-on-Tees
Club: Harlequins
Playing career: Nuneaton (1981-88), Leicester Tigers (1988-2007), Barbarians, England (1995-2006), British & Irish Lions (1997, 2005)
Coaching career: Leicester Tigers Assistant Coach (2006-07), RFU National Academy and England Specialist Coach (June 2007), England Forwards Coach (August 2008-to date), British & Irish Lions Assistant Coach (2009, 2013)

Wig, as he's affectionately known, has toured twice with The British & Irish Lions as a player in 1997 and 2005 and was a coach on both the 2009 Tour to South Africa and the victorious 2013 Tour to Australia.

With 398 appearances for Leicester's first team, 54 caps for England and two caps for the Lions, Graham has a wealth of playing knowledge to draw on and that helped forge him into one of the top forwards coaches in the world.

Born in Stockton-on-Tees, Graham was educated at John Cleveland College in Leicestershire before joining Leicester Tigers from Nuneaton in 1988. Throughout the 90s he formed one part of the famous 'ABC club' alongside Richard Cockerill and Darren Garforth in the front row and went on to win five Premiership titles and three Heineken Cups.

His first full England cap came against Scotland in the Five Nations tournament in 1995 and he went on to play in the 1995 and 1999 Rugby World Cups.

Graham cut his coaching teeth at Leicester before being involved with the England National Academy. From there, Graham progressed to England Scrum Coach and then Assistant Coach as part of Martin Johnson's backroom staff which won the 2011 Six Nations.

He remained England Assistant coach under Stuart Lancaster between 2012 and the 2015 Rugby World Cup before joining Harlequins in 2016. 




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 2017Warren Gatland 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.

Lions 2017 Heach Coach Announcement Warren Gatland

"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:

Lions Unplugged 2013




Tuesday 12th July 2016




Friday 3rd June 2016




Thursday 2nd June 2016




Tuesday 23rd February 2015




Friday 27th November 2015