Wales coach Warren Gatland in deal with Lions for 2021 Tour in South Africa in third spell
- Warren Gatland has agreed in 2021 to take the lead for the British and Irish lions
- It will be the third time the Kiwi has taken over the tour
- Reports suggest a verbal agreement has been reached for the Wales boss to step back
- Gatland is expected to take the position a year before the tour of South Africa
Warren Gatland will take the lead for the Lions in South Africa for the third time on the tour in 2021 despite saying he will never coach them again.
Sportsmail understands the departing head coach of Wales, 55, has accepted an offer from the & # 39; touring side to lead them in two years' time. He will officially sign new week.
Gatland was an assistant coach, the last time the Lions went to South Africa a decade ago, before leading the win of & # 39; s 2013 series over Australia and the 1-1 draw in New Zealand in 2017.
Warren Gatland will take over the British and Irish Lions for their 2021 tour of South Africa
Gatland pictured during the tour of British and Irish Lions in New Zealand back in 2017
After that tour, Gatland was clear that he would not take the role again.
In his homeland, the Kiwi press seized him, mocking him like a clown and on & # 39; the return of & # 39; e Lions Irish flanker Sean O & # 39; Brien criticized him and assistant Rob Howley, what late Gatland had to say in & # 39; late 2017: & # 39; I am ready and I would not submit to (another tour).
'I just hate the press and the negativity in New Zealand. Looking back now, there were many things that were satisfactory.
'It was a great achievement, but it was hard work. The coaches and staff in their room worked their absolute b ****** s right away and then to reach someone out and make a comment like Sean's really did.
What I have learned from my Lions' experiences is how difficult it is to put some continuity together in terms of people and staff.
& # 39; It's time to let someone else do it, time to let someone else do the wheel again. & # 39;
The Kiwi takes a selfie with Lions fans during their match against NZ Maori at the 2017 Tour
But now that Gatland has done a U-turn, he could become the first coach to go undefeated with the Lions against all three giants in the southern hemisphere.
Only Sir Ian McGeechan has led the Lions against any opponent; the Scot was head coach in 1989 to Australia, 1993 to New Zealand and 1997 and 2009 to South Africa.
This job will be ideal for Gatland and the Lions. The New Zealander will leave Wales for the World Cup in November, spend some time at home, and then have half a year to search and prepare for South Africa without distractions.
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