Lions confirm coaching team for 2017 tour to New Zealand

Ireland coach Andy Farrell will work as defence coach

BY Daniel Kelly 12:10 Wednesday 7 December 2016, 12:10 7 Dec 2016

Coaches Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley, head coach Warren Gatland and coach Andy Farrell Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Andy Farrell, Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley have been announced as assistant coaches for the 2017 Lions tour.

Head coach Warren Gatland made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon at Carton House in Kildare. The group will hope to lead the Lions to their first test series victory over New Zealand since they won the four-test series 2-1 in 1971.

Farrell, who joined the Irish backroom team earlier this year worked with Gatland on the 2013 tour in Australia. The duo will also work with Rob Howley who was part of the 2009 and 2013 tour with Gatland.

Howley will continue towork as Wales' head coach in the absence of Gatland during the Six Nations. The two men have worked together since Gatland took charge of Wales in 2007.

The core of the coaching team will be completed by Steve Borthwick. The former England captain never played for the Lions, but has impressed as a coach with Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and with England in 2016 as forwards coach.

Of the trio announced on Wednesday, only Howley has played for the team. The tour will be his fifth (two as a player), but it will be his first in New Zealand.

The tour begins on June 3rd next year, against the New Zealand Barbarians. The First Test takes place in Auckland, three weeks later on June 24th.

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