Lions lean on Wales, England coaches

Warren Gatland has announced that Rob Howley, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell will be his assistant coaches during the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2013.

Howley has worked closely with Gatland at Wales, and was the acting head coach in 2012 when Gatland was unavailable. Rowntree and Farrell are currently part of the England coaching set-up.

While Gatland replaces Ian McGeechan as the Lions’ head coach, he was heavily involved in the most recent tour to South Africa as a forwards specialist. Howley and Rowntree were also on that coaching staff.

‘I am delighted with today’s appointments and confident that Rob, Graham, Andy and myself can come together quickly to face one of the hardest rugby challenges,’ said Gatland. ‘Lions tours are unique as we have to mold together players from four different countries in an incredibly short space of time.

‘We have no illusion as to the hard work required but we have spoken of the challenges and truly believe that as a coaching team we can provide the players with the support and environment needed for victory in Australia. We will also discuss over the coming weeks the requirement for any further technical assistance.’