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Gatland set for record third stint as Lions head coach

The New Zealander is stepping down from his role as Wales boss after this year’s World Cup.

Warren Gatland is set to return as Lions coach (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Warren Gatland is set to return as Lions coach (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Warren Gatland is set to be named as head coach of the British and Irish Lions for a record third time on Wednesday.

Gatland, who is stepping down from his role as Wales boss after this year’s World Cup, would lead the Lions on their 2021 tour to South Africa.

The 55-year-old Kiwi was in charge for the previous two Lions trips. He oversaw victory in Australia in 2013 and a drawn series in New Zealand two years ago.

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The Lions drew their series with New Zealand in 2017 (David Davies/PA)

Another tour would see him complete the set of Lions destinations in the top job, although he was also involved in the last series in South Africa, as forwards coach, in 2009.

The appointment is set to be confirmed at a press conference in London.

Gatland’s services are in high demand after another successful season with Wales. Earlier this year the former Ireland coach masterminded his third Grand Slam and fourth Six Nations Championship title since taking up the Welsh reins in 2007.

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Wales have an outstanding Six Nations record under Warren Gatland (David Davies/PA)

It was reported last month that a verbal agreement had been reached with the Lions.

It is not yet clear when Gatland would take up the role, but it is likely he would assume responsibilities around 10 months to a year before the tour.

At one point Gatland had been favourite to succeed Eddie Jones as England coach but this would bring an end to any such speculation. Jones is contracted with England until 2021 but with a break clause that can be activated depending on performance at the World Cup.

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