Gatland wanted the B&I Lions tour postponed

Warren Gatland has revealed he is ready to put his job as British and Irish Lions head coach on the line to have the 2021 tour of South Africa postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic.

South Africa hosted the Lions for an eight-match tour in 2021, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic all matches were played in empty stadiums as no crowds were allowed, in line with regulations governmental.

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The Lions topped the South African national teams but fell short in the Test series against the Springboks, who snatched a late victory in the third and final Test to seal a 2-1 series victory.

In an extensive interview with the Telegraphthe Gatland Lions coach has criticized the decision to continue the tour in 2021, instead of postponing it to 2022, as Covid-19 regulations have just been dropped and fans have returned to stadiums in South Africa.

“It was disappointing as I saw this as a serious option and saw no reason why the tour could not take place now when traveling supporters would be allowed and matches would be played in front of full crowds with the schedule. original,” Gatland added.

“South Africa was also desperate for the tour to be postponed because financially it was huge for them to have supporters and tourists there.

“The board is there to do the best job for Lions, but sometimes you ask [whether] some people on the board [are] a bit conflicted because they have other teams to watch and other [national] coaches to satisfy,” he added.

Gatland also revealed that his contract with New Zealand Rugby will expire after the World Cup and that he would be interested in returning to Europe.

“After that I will probably look for another role overseas. I loved my time as a young coach in Ireland [with Connacht and then as head coach of the national side] and my time with Wasps and, of course, Wales. It was quite difficult, but people made it special for me in Wales. I might end up in the UK again.

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Charles P. Patton