Gatland lands Lions job

Warren Gatland was announced as the head coach of the British & Irish Lions for their tour to Australia in 2013.

Gatland, whose appointment was widely expected, will oversee the 10-game tour featuring three Tests. The New Zealander has won two Six Nations Grand Slams with Wales and guided them to World Cup semi-finals in 2011. Gatland served as an assistant to Sir Ian McGeechan on the Lions tour to South Africa in 2009.

Gatland said: ‘I am really honoured to have been asked to take the position of head coach for the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia. I really enjoyed the experience as one of the assistant coaches in 2009 and since then have harboured the ambition to lead the Tour to Australia next year.

‘There is no question it will be one hell of a challenge. Playing in the southern hemisphere is one of rugby’s hardest challenges. The Lions came close in South Africa and our ambition is to win the series in 2013, and I believe we have the players to do that. Over the coming months, I will give careful consideration to the make-up of my coaching staff and of course the playing squad itself. A Lions tour is unique; it is the ultimate career pinnacle for coaches and players. I want to ensure that we get the Tour environment right so that we are hugely competitive and that our fans are proud of the team.’