News24

Gatland eyes England coaches

2012-11-07 11:47

London - England duo Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell will be allowed to work for the British and Irish Lions on their tour of Australia next year if Warren Gatland wants them as members of his coaching staff.

England scrum expert Rowntree worked alongside Gatland as a member of the Lions coaching team led by McGeechan during the 2009 tour of South Africa.

Meanwhile former dual code international Farrell is understood to have impressed Lions supremo Gatland, seconded from his role as Wales head coach, with his work with England's backs.

There is a clash between England's tour of Argentina next year and the Lions trip but Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie said Tuesday there was no doubt about the order of priority.

"Our view is that it is still an honour to be asked to be involved with the Lions, we would regard it as such," Ritchie said Tuesday.

"We want to support the Lions, we are one of the shareholders in the Lions, so why wouldn't we?

"Of course it has some difficulties in terms of the summer tour in Argentina but we would deal with that, depending on who it is and how we address it.

"You have to see it as an opportunity. Not only is it an honour but you would believe they would learn a lot in those situations and it gives us an opportunity to broaden our horizons."

AFP