The Frontrunner For The Lions 2017 Job Has Been Revealed
Joe Schmidt was the frontrunner – in the eyes of journalists, fans and bookmakers – for the head coach position ahead of last year’s World Cup.
However after an underwhelming performance it seems Warren Gatland has overtaken him.
At the announcement of a commercial deal, on Monday, Lions chief executive John Feehan stated that Gatland was the frontrunner. Feehan told reporters:
“It would absolutely ludicrous of me to say that Warren would not be the leading contender, he clearly is.
“If he is involved in the next tour it will be a third tour for him, he has a record that is pretty much second to none in the northern hemisphere and so he has to be the leading contender.
“The four home-based coaches are a starting point and a pretty good starting point. It is unlikely that we will move outside of that, but we will keep an open mind.”
Feehan added, “We will consider any international coach who points his hand up and wants to be involved. There are strengths and weaknesses of various guys, not necessarily of their coaching but their availability or the level of experience they have had with a given team.
“We are going to wait until after the Six Nations and the June tours and then we will go through a process and hope to end up with a head coach at the end of August or the start of September.
“In an ideal world we would like to see them free from the point of appointment but you also have to be realistic about things. For example, on the last tour Warren went back and was involved with the Welsh set-up for two weeks through the November Test series.”