(14 Apr 2021)
Warren Gatland, Head Coach of the British & Irish
Lions, has confirmed the coaching team for the 2021 Tour to South
Africa.

Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Robin McBryde (Leinster
Rugby), Steve Tandy (Scotland) and Neil Jenkins (Wales) will
assist Gatland for the Tour to the home of reigning world
champions, the Springboks, as well as the pre-Tour Test match
against Japan at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, 26 June for the
Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.

“I am very pleased to have assembled such a
high-quality coaching team,” said Gatland. “It’s a really
strong group and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together –
I think we’ll all complement each other well in South Africa … As the Tour approaches we may look to bring in
some extra resource, but this will be the core group for the time
being. Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge
and clearly when the squad assembles in June to begin our
preparations everything is going to look and feel a bit different
to previous tours. But having spoken to the coaches individually
over the past few days we’re absolutely determined to make it an
enjoyable, memorable and ultimately successful experience for
everyone involved.”

The British & Irish Lions in action against the Barbarians in Hong Kong in 2013. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Scotland head coach Townsend will take
charge of the Lions’ attack. This will be the first time the
former Scottish fly half will have been part of a Lions coaching
team, having previously toured South Africa triumphantly as a player in 1997.

“To be involved as a player and now as a
coach is truly humbling,” Townsend said. “The
Springboks are a formidable opponent on home turf, but looking at
the talent in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely
exciting opportunity for us to do something special. One
of the great challenges of a Lions Tour is to bring together
players from four different countries, in a short space of time,
and create an attacking threat that will cause the opposition
problems. It’s something I am already looking forward to.”

Tandy – part of Townsend’s Scottish coaching setup –
will be responsible for the Lions defence.

“To take on the
World Champions in their own backyard is a massive test and one I
am really looking forward to being part of,” said Tandy. “There have been some brilliant Lions defence coaches in the
past – Andy Farrell, Shaun Edwards and Phil Larder – so it’s a
huge honour to be chosen. From a defence perspective we
need to make sure we get everyone on the same page as quickly as
possible. I am sure Gregor and I will benefit greatly
from this experience and gain valuable knowledge about the
Springboks ahead of the Rugby World Cup in two years’ time.”

Former Wales assistant coach McBryde, now an assistant coach
at Guinness PRO14 club Leinster Rugby, will take responsibility of
the forwards.

“I am very much looking forward to linking up with
Warren and being part of his coaching group again,” McBryde said. “We’ve seen some excellent rugby in the Six
Nations recently with some stand out performances by players from
the four Home Nations – especially some of the forwards. That’s
really positive for the Lions. South African rugby is
known for its physicality, so we’ll be under no illusions of what
to expect when we arrive. The challenge for us will be to come
together quickly and be physical and uncompromising in the way we
play. I am grateful and excited for the opportunity
ahead, but my focus will remain with Leinster until the end of the
season and I’m incredibly grateful to them for allowing me to
tour.”

Welsh kicking coach Jenkins will look after the
kickers. This will be his sixth Tour as both a player and coach.

“The Lions is a unique experience for players and
coaches,” said Jenkins. “To bring together the best players
from four countries and take on the Springboks in their own
backyard is very exciting. To do it with one of my Lions teammates
from 24 years ago is incredibly special for me.”

McBryde
will remain with Leinster until the conclusion of the season
before joining up with Gatland.


Rugby pictures
:
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens,

Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,

Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,

Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens,

Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,

Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Kong,

Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,

Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,

Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,

Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
Pictures
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Pictures of
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

See latest

Travel Industry News,
Video
Interviews,
Podcasts
and other
news regarding:

COVID19,

Lions,

South Africa,

Rugby.


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