In a surprising turn of events, Warren Gatland, who led the British and Irish Lions in their 2013, 2017, and 2021 tours, has officially endorsed Andy Farrell as his preferred successor for the role of head coach on the 2025 tour.
Gatland, the head coach of the Wales national rugby team, has decided to step aside from the position for the upcoming tour.
Gatland, originally from New Zealand, praised Farrell for the “fantastic job” he has done with the Ireland national rugby team. The endorsement comes as a testament to Farrell’s coaching prowess and his potential to lead the Lions to success in their 2025 tour to Australia.
As rugby enthusiasts await the official announcement of the new head coach, Warren Gatland has also made headlines by revealing his dream Lions XV in an exclusive piece for The Telegraph.
He began: “I have gone through my notes of each of the four tours – my first as an assistant to Sir Ian McGeechan to South Africa in 2009, then as head coach for Australia in 2013, New Zealand in 2017 and South Africa in 2021 and made what is undoubtedly the toughest selection I have ever had to make.
“To give it some context, I have made my selections based on a snapshot of all the players when they were at their best for the Lions when I was involved. It does not take into account what they achieved over the course of their careers but when they pulled on the red shirt.”
Warren Gatland’s Dream Lions XV
15. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
14. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
13. Jonathan Davies (Wales)
Garland wrote: “This was the most difficult selection for many obvious reasons. I know a lot of people will ask why I did not select Brian O’Driscoll here. If you were to pick a Lions team that included the tours when he was at his best, 2001 and 2005, then he would come into that calculation because he was an unbelievable player.
“But when I was head coach in 2013, his best days were behind him whereas Jonathan Davies was in his prime. He played in the series winning Test in 2013 and went on to become player of the series on the 2017 tour against the world champions New Zealand.”
12. Jamie Roberts (Wales)
11. George North (Wales)