Andy Farrell named Lions Assistant Coach

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Updated: December 7, 2016
Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley, Warren Gatland and coach Andy Farrell 6/12/2016

The Ireland assistant coach was also part of the coaching staff on the Lions successful 2013 tour of Australia.

Andy Farrell has been confirmed as the Lions defensive coach for 2017′s summer tour of New Zealand.

After an impressive stint coaching the defensive side of the game on the Lions last tour, during which he received huge praise from the likes of Paul O’Connell and Johnny Sexton, the experienced Englishman has once again been trusted with defensive duties by head coach Warren Gatland.

Elsewhere on the coaching staff, former Welsh international Rob Howley has been named as attack coach, following spells in the same position on each of the Lions previous two tours.

The forwards will be coached by Englishman Steve Borthwick.

Speaking at Carton House following the announcement of his staff for next year’s tour, Gatland spoke as to the reasoning behind his choices, citing experience as a key factor.

‘I’m excited about this coaching team. I said from the outset it was important to have continuity because we need to hit the ground running, given the limited preparation time.’ 

‘In Rob and Andy, we have guys who understand the Lions concept, who have worked together and know how to coach a winning Lions team.

‘It is also important to have some new input. Steve has done a great job in shaping the England pack and played a major role in their recent run of successes, so I’m looking forward to working with him.’

‘We may bring in a specialist coach but, fundamentally, this is the core coaching team we believe can help a talented group of players win a Test series in New Zealand.’

Irish defensive coach Farrell, who’s work in helping Joe Schmidt’s side to sensational defensive showings against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa this year, today spoke of his excitement at the task ahead.

‘The Lions is a unique experience for players and coaches. To bring together the best players from four countries and go to the home of the world champions to take them on in their own backyward – that’s pretty special.’

‘As a group, we are going to be tested across the board against the number one ranked team in the world. The challenge for us will be to get on the same page as quickly as possible, appreciate the danger they pose and find solutions to their attacking threats.’

The Lions tour of New Zealand kicks off on 3rd June 2017, while they will compete in a total of 10 matches.

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