Warren Gatland, the former British and Irish Lions head coach, has officially endorsed Andy Farrell as his potential successor for the upcoming 2025 tour, effectively withdrawing his own candidacy for the position.
The Wales bond, who held the helm for the Lions during the tours in 2013, 2017, and 2021, voiced his resounding support for Farrell. The Welsh head coach commended Farrell’s remarkable leadership during his tenure with Ireland and expressed his desire to see him take the reins for the next Lions tour to Australia.
It’s worth noting that Farrell was an integral part of Gatland’s coaching staff during the 2013 and 2017 tours, reinforcing the strong bond between the two esteemed rugby figures.
“A few weeks ago, I was asked by Nigel Walker, Wales’ director of rugby, if I was interested in putting my name forward to be head coach for the next tour in Australia in 2025,” Gatland wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.
“It did not take long to get back to him.
“I told him I was not going to put my name forward. I told Nigel that I would have no problem if any of my support staff were to be asked to be involved as I would see it as a great experience for them.
“But I think it is the opportunity now for someone else to be head coach and Andy Farrell would have my backing for the job.
“You cannot deny what Ireland has achieved as a nation over the last few years and you are starting to see the fruition of the alignment between the Irish provinces and the union. There is no doubt that Andy has done a fantastic job.”
After Gatland officially announced his resignation, Steffan Thomas, the rugby correspondent for Wales Online, has chosen the lineup he believes could face Australia in 2025.
2025 British & Irish Lions XV:
15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)