June International Tours

Lions name coaching team for 2009 tour to South Africa



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British & Irish Lions Tour Manager Gerald Davies and Head Coach Ian McGeechan (Wasps director of rugby) announced today in Dublin the coaching and key backroom staff for the 2009 Tour to South Africa.

The Grand Slam winning trio of coaches Shaun Edwards (Wasps head coach) , Warren Gatland (former Wasps director of rugby) and Rob Howley (ex-Wasps scrum-half) will join McGeechan in South Africa and will be responsible for Defence, Forward and Backs coaching respectively.


This talented group of internationally experienced coaches are joined in the management team by: Craig White (ex-Wasps fitness expert) responsible for the Physical Conditioning of the players; Doctor James Robson leading the medical team; Rhys Long (ex-Wasps game analyst) to oversee Performance Analysis; and Greg Thomas to head the media team.


Davies said “Today is an important milestone in our preparation. The personnel announced today have the proven skill sets to ensure that the Lions squad is well prepared for the tour to South Africa next year.


“The cosmopolitan make-up of the management team reflects the modern nature of Rugby and they like me are well aware of the challenges that await us.”


Commenting on the coaching appointments McGeechan said ,”Lions tours are unique as we have to meld together players from four different countries.


“There has to be a unified, common approach on the tour with coaches and players working together. We therefore have to create a positive environment and appoint the right personnel to help devise the right strategies to take on the Springboks at home.”


“I am delighted with today’s appointments and confident that we can come together quickly as preparation time is always short.


“Working with coaches and personnel that I know well and who have successful track records and experience ensures that we will get the best out of the players and provide the greatest chance of winning the test series.”


The Lions tour starts with a match against a Highveld XV at Rustenberg on May 30 with the first of three Tests against South Africa at Durban on June 20 before they face the Springboks again on June 27 in Pretoria and July 4 in Johannesburg.



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