Gatland warns large English contingent on Lions squad may have negative impact
Gatland – who is joined on the coaching ticket by English duo Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree and interim Welsh coach Rob Howley – also confirmed there has been discussion on whether to select players who qualify on residency grounds.
“It’s something that we’ve touched on. These are the sort of things that come into consideration when you finally select the squad.
“If we’re making a 50/50 decision on a player, it won’t be about the country they come from. It’ll probably be looking at what they’re like as people. Are they good people? Will they be able to handle the disappointment if they’re not selected in the Test squad? Will they be supportive of the rest of the team? Do they relate and communicate? We’ve got to bring a squad together in such a short period that the last thing we need is factions within the squad.”
The Lions squad is due to be announced on April 30th, the Tuesday after the Heineken Cup semi-final weekend, with the players only gathering five days before the June 1st fixture against The Barbarians in Hong Kong. The first Test match against the Wallabies is in Brisbane on June 22nd.
Lions’ share Australian address needed to secure tickets
Only those with an Australian address can purchase tickets for the Lions tour matches when they go on public sale on Sunday night (10pm Irish time).
Ticket prices for the three Test matches – in Brisbane on June 22nd, Melbourne on June 29th and Sydney on July 6th – range from €73 up to €226.
There is a four ticket maximum per Test match, for each address, and an eight ticket maximum for the six warm-up games on Australian soil.
The 10-match tour begins against The Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1st.
Travelling supporters can only purchase tickets through the seven official tour operators.
The Lions ticket allocation for each game is currently 6,500. The most popular package is an 18-night trip, costing €7,500, which includes accommodation and tickets for the three Tests. The full tour package (40 nights and all 10 fixtures) costs €16,300.