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Lions confirm coaching team for 2017 tour to New Zealand

Lions confirm coaching team for 2017 tour to New Zealand

All three were widely expected to be chosen.

He was then appointed as Ireland's defence coach, helping to oversee an away victory over South Africa and then a spectacular success against world champions New Zealand in Chicago, before a memorable autumn campaign concluded by Ireland defeating Australia.

Rob Howley, Wales' current interim head coach, is also thought to be among Gatland's choices.

"South Africa, Australia and New Zealand normally come up here and have pretty much unbeaten campaigns, and they go back spouting about how strong the southern hemisphere is".

Farrell and Howley return for another Lions expedition after working with New Zealander Gatland during the successful 2013 Australia tour. "We can take a lot of confidence from the performances and results", he added, remarking that the coaches had spent Tuesday evening sketching a Lions squad longlist of "about 50" names.

The Lions boss said: "We do hope to add some specialist people and I'm looking forward to the potential quality that's out there".

"I've spoken to Cipriani", said Gatland.

WARREN GATLAND will name a number of specialist coaches in his Lions backroom staff after unveiling his assistant coaches today.

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The core of the coaching team will be completed by Steve Borthwick.

Former England and Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan is possibly on the radar, while Saracens' trophy double-winning rugby director Mark McCall also has many admirers.

Former England captain Borthwick's stock rose on the back of Japan's impressive World Cup campaign previous year when he was the forwards coach - which included a victory over two-time world champions South Africa.

"One of the things we learned from the last tour is you're preparing two teams for two games every week, with sometimes two or three training session every day and we need to add to this coaching team".

"From an attacking perspective, the modern Test game requires you to score 28 or 30 points and that's going to be the challenge for us going to New Zealand in May", Howley said.

"The challenge for us will be to get on the same page as quickly as possible, appreciate fully the danger they pose and find solutions to their attacking threats". "That all bodes well for the Lions".

"We went through the squads yesterday and there were two or three players who we discussed who aren't involved in their national sides at the moment".


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