Share this article

Leinster's Robin McBryde will be part of Warren Gatland's coaching ticket for this summer's British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

One of Gatland's former assistants with Wales, the Leinster scrum coach will take on the forwards role for this summer's tour, and is the only Irish-based coach on the ticket.

Joining them with be Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, who has been tasked with leading the attack, while Townsend's Scotland assistant Steve Tandy will take charge of the defence.

Tandy is included after Ireland head coach Andy Farrell reportedly withdrew himself from consideration, having been part of the 2009, 2013 and 2017 tours.

Completing the five-man coaching group is Neil Jenkins, who will look after the kickers for the fourth successive tour, having also played in both the 1997 and 2001 series.

The Lions are scheduled to travel to South Africa for a three-match test series and warm-up games, with a further warm-up test against Japan scheduled for June 26th, prior to their departure to the southern hemisphere.

"I am very pleased to have assembled such a high-quality coaching team," said Gatland.

"It’s a really strong group and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together – I think we’ll all complement each other well in South Africa.

"A Lions Tour is a unique challenge, so it’s important to have some continuity in the coaching group. Neil understands the exceptional demands that only a Lions Tour can present, and we will benefit from his knowledge and experience.

"But it’s also important to have new voices and a fresh perspective. Gregor is doing an excellent job in charge of Scotland and is an outstanding coach. He also understands the challenges of touring South Africa as a player and what it takes to win there, so I am extremely happy he will be part of the set-up.

"Steve has made Scotland’s defence one of the most organised in world rugby – something we saw throughout the recent Six Nations. He’s clearly an intelligent coach and someone I am very much looking forward to working with.

"Obviously Robin is someone who I know very well from our time together in Wales. He is an impressive and experienced coach who continues to have success with Leinster. I think he’ll be well suited to the Lions environment and I am sure he will do an excellent job with the forwards.

"As the Tour approaches we may look to bring in some extra resource, but this will be the core group for the time being.

"Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge and clearly when the squad assembles in June to begin our preparations everything is going to look and feel a bit different to previous tours. But having spoken to the coaches individually over the past few days we’re absolutely determined to make it an enjoyable, memorable and ultimately successful experience for everyone involved."

Leinster's Robin McBryde says it's an honour to be chosen as part of Gatland's coaching ticket, having toured as a player with the Lions in Australia in 2001.

"I am very much looking forward to linking up with Warren and being part of his coaching group again," said McBryde.

"We’ve seen some excellent rugby in the Six Nations recently with some stand out performances by players from the four Home Nations – especially some of the forwards. That’s really positive for the Lions.

"South African rugby is known for its physicality, so we’ll be under no illusions of what to expect when we arrive. The challenge for us will be to come together quickly and be physical and uncompromising in the way we play.

"I am grateful and excited for the opportunity ahead, but my focus will remain with Leinster until the end of the season and I’m incredibly grateful to them for allowing me to tour."

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team

Share this article

Read more about

Andy Farrell British And Irish Lions Lions Tour 2021 Robin Mcbride Warren Gatland

You might like