Warren Gatland looks set to be offered the role of head coach of the British and Irish Lions for a fourth successive tour.
The Kiwi is set to mull over his options in the coming weeks.
He has flown back to New Zealand following Saturday's dramatic 19-16 loss to South Africa, which secured a 2-1 win for the hosts.
Although the next tour, which is to Australia, is not until 2025, attention has already shifted to potential head coaches.
Warren Gatland favourite among Lions hierarchy to lead 2025 Australia tour | By @gerard_meagher https://t.co/2etwAEqmPh
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) August 8, 2021
Gatland appeared to leave open the possibility of accepting the head coach position again after Saturday's match.
Managing Director of the Lions, Ben Calveley, and Chairman Jason Leonard sounded enthusiastic about the prospect of the former Irish head coach remaining in charge.
“I don’t think he will have a problem with us,” Leonard said of Gatland.
“The highest accolade that I can give someone like Gats is that he is up there with Sir Ian McGeechan.
"If you cut him in half, he bleeds Lions. He just gets what the Lions is. Warren Gatland has got to be in consideration.
"It’s great to hear he is up for it.”
Lions MD Ben Calveley described Gatland as 'outstanding'.
“Having worked with him for this two-year period and incredibly closely for the last seven to eight months, he has just proved once again what an outstanding coach he is but also what an outstanding individual he is.
"He has brought together this team of rivals, bonded them in the most challenging situation we have faced in any Lions tour and he deserves massive credit because in our view is right up there with one of the very best in the world.”
The head coach for the tour in 2025 is not likely to be confirmed until 2023.
Gatland was also part of the 2009 tour when he was forwards coach.
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