Warren Gatland supports Andy Farrell for the Lions coaching position following his tenure as coach.
Warren Gatland has chosen to step down as the head coach of the British and Irish Lions, and has suggested that Andy Farrell take his place. Gatland has been leading the Lions since their tour of Australia in 2013, and has also guided the team in their tours of New Zealand in 2017 and South Africa in 2021.
In his column for the Telegraph, Gatland stated that he has given his all for the Lions, but it is now time for him to move on. Recently, Nigel Walker, the director of rugby for Wales, approached Gatland about potentially being the head coach for the 2025 tour in Australia. However, Gatland declined and expressed that he would have no issue with any of his support staff being involved in the tour as it would be a valuable experience for them.
Gatland served as the assistant coach to Ian McGeechan on the 2009 tour of South Africa and then went on to lead Wales to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in France.
“I believe it is time for someone else to take on the role of head coach, and I fully support Andy Farrell for the job,” he stated. “The success of Ireland as a nation in recent years cannot be ignored, and we are now seeing the positive results of the collaboration between the Irish provinces and the union. It is undeniable that Andy has done an excellent job.”
The upcoming Lions tour will kick off against the Western Force at Perth Stadium on June 28, 2025. The first match of the series against Australia will take place at Lang Park in Brisbane on July 19.
Gatland expressed his willingness to continue being involved with the Lions by sharing his knowledge and experience gained from the past four tours with the next head coach. He stated that it would be the least he could do for the team.
Unfortunately, Jonny May, a wing for England and Gloucester, has declared his retirement from Test rugby. At the age of 33, May first played in a match against Argentina in 2013 and went on to score 36 tries in 78 games for his country. He currently holds the second spot on England’s list of top try scorers, with Rory Underwood (49) in first place. May’s last Test appearance was in England’s 16-15 defeat to South Africa in the World Cup semi-final.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this journey with me,” he stated. “It is a great honor and a dream to represent my country, and even though I will no longer be on the field, I will always feel a strong connection to this team in my heart.”