Warren Gatland in talks about third Lions tour in 2021
Wales coach has had ‘informal conversations’ about taking on coaching role again
Warren Gatland could lead the Lions for a third time in 2021 against South Africa. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Warren Gatland has revealed he has held “informal conversations” over coaching the British and Irish Lions again in 2021 against South Africa.
The New Zealander has led the Lions on their last two tours, a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013 and a 1-1 draw in New Zealand in 2017, and intends to leave his role as Wales boss after this year’s World Cup in Japan.
Asked at a Welsh Rugby Union event at St David’s Hall in Cardiff about the possibility of leading the Lions again, Gatland was quoted by walesonline.co.uk as saying: “Maybe. I’ve had a couple of informal conversations and that’s all it’s been at the moment.
“What could work out brilliantly is to finish with Wales after the World Cup, have a little break and then potentially do the Lions for 12 months heading into 2021.
“Ireland are going to have a new coach, Wales are going to have a new coach, England will have a new coach, you’ve got Gregor Townsend in Scotland.
“It means that one of those countries could lose their coach for 12 months.
“So it [Gatland leading the Lions] may appeal to the four home nations, but there’s a lot of things that have to happen before then.
“There’s potential there.”
A Lions spokesperson said: “The selection/recruitment process for 2021 has not been agreed yet. There will undoubtedly be a number of candidates, but this is not a process that has started as yet.”