Warren Gatland called touring South Africa the easiest of the three British and Irish Lions southern hemisphere tours and said his expectation would be a three-nil series win for the Lions.
Gatland boosted Eddie Jones’s claims to lead the Lions in South Africa in 2021.
Jones first has to get England past the Springboks in a three-Test series in June, but Gatland had no doubts beating South Africa it would be easy pickings for Jones.
Gatland, who has coached the Lions on their last two tours of Australia and New Zealand respectively, raved about Jones’s impact on England and touted the former Wallabies and Japan coach to be named as his Lions successor.
Gatland, addressing the media in the build-up to Saturday’s England and Wales 6 Nations Test, described the South African series ‘the easiest of the three’ and said he would expect a Jones led Lions squad to clean sweep the Springboks.
‘He’d do a great job as Lions coach; 3-0 would be expected. It’s probably the easiest of the three tours, isn’t it?’
Gatland, as Welsh coach, has only recently enjoyed success against the Springboks, with two successive wins against the Springboks and three in total in his tenure. He has never beaten the All Blacks as Welsh coach and has one win in 13 Tests against the Wallabies.
He was also part of the 2009 Lions coaching squad that lost 2-1 to the Springboks. He led the 2013 Lions to a 2-1 series win in Australia and last year his Lions drew the series 1-all in New Zealand after the final Test ended in a 12-all draw.
The RFU, who extended Jones’s contract beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup, have already stated they will endorse any approach for Jones to coach the Lions in South Africa in 2021.