Ireland set to name new coach with Andy Farrell taking on 'exciting opportunity' - Ruck

Ireland set to name new coach with Andy Farrell taking on ‘exciting opportunity’

In a much-anticipated move, Andy Farrell is poised to officially clinch the coveted position of Lions head coach today, paving the way for the upcoming tour to Australia in 2025.

The head honcho of Ireland’s rugby squad has long been a frontrunner for this prestigious role, and with the public endorsement from Warren Gatland, the architect of the three previous tours, Farrell is on track to lead the iconic touring side Down Under this summer.

The finer points of Farrell’s appointment are slated to be unveiled in a ceremony in London, signifying a temporary absence for the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) from their head coach ahead of the pivotal tour.

Simon Easterby, Ireland’s current defensive maestro, previously assumed the lead role for the 2022 Emerging Ireland tour to South Africa, showcasing his capability to step into the limelight if summoned by the IRFU.

Since taking the reins from Joe Schmidt post the 2019 World Cup, Farrell has steered Ireland admirably. His remarkable track record, coupled with a distinguished Lions pedigree from previous successes as an assistant coach in 2013 and 2017, makes him the standout candidate for the role.

As the rugby world eagerly awaits confirmation, Farrell’s appointment is expected to inject renewed vigor into the Lions camp for the upcoming Australian expedition.

The Lions’ comprehensive nine-match itinerary has been confirmed, commencing on Wednesday, 2 July, with a match against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane. This will be the Lions’ first visit to Australia since their victorious 2-1 series in 2013.

Notably, the Lions will benefit from the longest preparation period for a tour in recent history, thanks to the cooperation of Premiership Rugby and the United Rugby Championship. As part of their preparations, the Lions will also engage in a warm-up match against a combined Australia and New Zealand side in Adelaide.

Seeking their first tour triumph since defeating the Wallabies a decade ago, the Lions are determined to make this tour a success. Their previous tour saw them narrowly lose 2-1 in South Africa, following a tied series in New Zealand in 2017. Unfortunately, the 2021 matches against the Springboks were played behind closed doors due to pandemic restrictions, preventing spectators from attending.

Ieuan Evans, chairman of the British and Irish Lions, expressed his excitement, stating that Lions tours to Australia have always been memorable and the 2025 tour promises to be no exception. Furthermore, the British and Irish Lions are actively exploring the possibility of organizing their inaugural Lions Women’s Tour, following positive outcomes from a feasibility study.

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British and Irish Lions’ 2025 tour of Australia

2 July: Queensland Reds (Brisbane)
5 July: Waratahs (Sydney)
9 July: Brumbies (Canberra)
12 July: Invitational Australia and New Zealand team (Adelaide)
19 July: First Test vs Australia (Brisbane)
22 July: Melbourne Rebels (Melbourne)
26 July: Second Test vs Australia (Melbourne)
2 August: Third Test vs Australia (Sydney)

Warren Gatland’s 2023 Lions XV:


15. Hugo Keenan – Ireland

14. Duhan van der Merwe – Scotland

He wrote: “Mack Hansen is very unlucky here but I’m switching Duhan to the right wing. I think he is in much better shape physically than he was when he was with the Lions a couple of years ago. He caused defenders all sorts of problems, carried well and scored some outstanding tries. He has also definitely improved his aerial game, which was something he had to work on.”

11. James Lowe – Ireland


13. Huw Jones – Scotland

12. Sione Tuipulotu – Scotland

He wrote: “I was also impressed with the impact Bundee Aki made for Ireland, but Sione has a superb all-around game. He does not just give you good go-forward ball but can make the pass and offload as well.”