Rugby

Gatland brings up quota issue

2013-12-19 14:09
Warren Gatland (AFP)
Cape Town - Warren Gatland, coach of the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, has recommended that a quota system be considered for future trips.

Gatland, who led the touring team to a 2-1 series win, believes it is time to have a debate on the issue to find out if there is support for the concept of more equal representation from the four home unions (Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland).

There were claims that his selections were too biased in favour of the team he coaches, Wales.

Ten of the starting XV for the decisive third Test were Welsh and that, plus the dropping of Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll, caused intense media criticism in the build-up to the game.

Gatland's suggestion makes up part of his official report on the tour in Australia. Such a quota system would ensure equal representation from the four home unions on coming Lions tours.

Gatland told the Times website that the non-selection of O'Driscoll brought the issue to the fore as some "personal stuff" got to him.

He said the debate needs to be in the public domain and even though he thinks people will likely vote against it, the issue needs to be raised to get a consensus because "we are going to end up with what we had recently on this tour."

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