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10th Jan 2024

British & Irish Lions head coach announcement: All the big quotes and best reactions

Patrick McCarry

There is a new leader of the pride.

For the first time in 12 years, the British & Irish Lions have a new head coach. The Lions coach announcement, and press briefing, is taking place in London [Thursday, January 11] and we will have all the big comments, details and reactions.

Click on the key point you want to read about, or just keep scrolling to see updates in our live hub [below]

Lions coachWill the next British & Irish Lions coach be Andy Farrell? (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Favourites for Lions coach role

Almost as soon as the final whistle blew in Wellington, New Zealand, back in the summer of 2022, Andy Farrell had the plum Lions coach role wrapped up and tied with a bow.

With England struggling under Eddie Jones, and Wales going back to Warren Gatland after a rollercoasters Wayne Pivac ride, the only threat looked to be coming from Gregor Townsend, particularly when Scotland started their 2023 Six Nations campaign with a bang.

The Scots fell away and were also-rans in the World Cup but, the truth is, Farrell had the Lions gig a long time before it. The only other possibilities were Leo Cullen, in that overseer role, or La Rochelle supremo Ronan O’Gara. The former Munster outhalf insists he is committed to his club, but is open to an assistant coach gig for the tour Down Under, if it can be worked out.

Gatland was the last chess piece to fall – he claimed he did not want his name to be considered for the role but the writing was on the wall. Last November, three-time Lions coach Gatland openly backed Andy Farrell.

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