The news isn’t surprising, but the press conference was hotly anticipated nevertheless – the confirmation of Warren Gatland as Head Coach of the 2013 Lions marks the start of the build up to the Australia tour in June.
Gatland has been favourite for the role since he mentioned in 2011 that his Wales contract had a clause that would allow him time away from Welsh Rugby for a few months in 2013. His success with Wales at the Rugby World Cup that year, and winning the Grand Slam in 2012 confirmed his status as the best man for the job, and his appointment is not controversial by any means.
What will be interesting is how he puts together his coaching team over the coming months. Some would argue that taking his fellow Welsh coaches would be the most effective option, but then there could be politics involved in terms of Welsh dominance – particularly as Sam Warburton is nearly nailed on as captain if he has another strong season.
Who do you think should be part of the Lions coaching setup? Is there a role for Sir Ian McGeechan? How about Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley?
Here is the HSBC ambassadors’ response to the news: