Declan Kidney is at the forefront to be on the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia according to Lions manager Andy Irvine.
Irvine was speaking at the launch of the tour fixture list today in Cardiff, and while no official announcement as to who will coach the Lions until next April or May, Irvine has put Kidney’s name into the ring for the plum job.
“ We have a completely open mind for the 2013 tour on who it (coach) will be,” said Irvine,
“Whoever the coach is will be taking a year out. He does not have to come from the home unions and we could look worldwide, but ideally the head coach will come from a union associated with the Lions.
“Ian McGeechan has not ruled himself out entirely. He did indicate that 2009 would be his last tour, but he has said nothing definitive and he has to be an option.
“It is such a highly-prized job that we will not be short of candidates. To play for the Lions is the ultimate, and to coach the Lions is pretty close to that.
“We would like Declan Kidney, Andy Robinson and Warren Gatland to all be available. I think all three would be available if required.”
The Lions open their tour with a friendly match against the Barbarians before departing for Australia.
The British and Irish Lions tour to Australia
Wednesday, June 5th : Lions v Western Force, Perth
Saturday, June 8th : Lions v Queensland Reds, Brisbane
Wednesday, June 12th: Lions v Combined NSW-Queensland Country, Newcastle
Saturday, June 15th : Lions v Waratahs, Sydney
Tuesday, June 18th : Lions v Brumbies, Canberra
Saturday, June 22nd : Lions v Australia, Brisbane
Tuesday, June 25th: Lions v Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne
Saturday, June 29th : Lions v Australia, Melbourne
Saturday, July 6th : Lions v Australia, Sydney