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Gatland set to stay and lead Lions' charge to New Zealand

By Jonathan Bradley

Warren Gatland is expected to be retained as coach of the British and Irish Lions for their series with New Zealand when an announcement is made in Edinburgh next month.

The Kiwi led the collective on their victorious tour of Australia three years ago and will likely take a 10-month sabbatical from his position as Wales coach to plot the trip to his homeland next summer.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, whose future in his own job remains the subject of much doubt, had been mentioned as an early contender for the post.

England's Eddie Jones, meanwhile, was quick to rule himself out of the running despite his early success since taking over from Stuart Lancaster following the disastrous home World Cup last year.

When the Lions last tackled the All Blacks, the tour began on a sour note with the first Test injury suffered by captain Brian O'Driscoll and never recovered as the hosts inflicted a series whitewash.

None of the home nations have won there since, although England did secure victory at Twickenham in 2012.

Gatland's own Wales side lost all three games against the reigning World champions when they squared off in June.

The tour will feature 10 games with two of the three Tests taking place in Auckland and the other in Wellington.

An official unveiling is due to be made at Standard Life House in the Scottish capital on Wednesday, September 7 while those featuring in the touring party will be revealed in April of next year.

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