British & Irish Lions: Warren Gatland & Eddie Jones should lead – Keith Wood


Eddie Jones

Wales coach Warren Gatland and England boss Eddie Jones should both be part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team in New Zealand next summer, says former Lion Keith Wood.

Gatland is favourite to take on the role again after leading the Lions to victory in Australia in 2013.

“We pick the best players, what’s to stop us bringing the best coaches?” Wood said on BBC Radio 5 live.

“If these guys worked together, it would be pretty phenomenal.”

While Jones has ruled himself out because of his commitments with England, Wood feels the Australian – along with the likes of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt – could be involved in a short-term capacity.

He added: “Eddie Jones says he doesn’t want to go on the Lions, but if he went out there for three months as an assistant, is he willing to do that? Is Joe Schmidt willing to do that?”

Meanwhile Wood feels Gatland’s success three years ago means he is a prime contender to again head the Lions set-up.

“He’s proven to be a winner with the Lions in Australia, and winning breeds winning,” the former Ireland captain said.

British and Irish Lions
The British and Irish Lions ended a 16-year wait for a series win with victory over Australia in 2013

Jones’ contract with the Rugby Football Union does not allow him to take time off in 2017 to prepare for the Lions tour, but former England captain Nick Easter feels there should be some room for manoeuvre.

“Surely the Lions committee has to try to get the best candidate – and Jones right now is,” Easter told 5 live.

“Not taking anything away from Warren, but [Jones] has beaten the All Blacks before. You have two outstanding candidates there, with a third in Joe Schmidt.

“Currently [I would go for] Eddie Jones,” added former Lions flanker Martyn Williams.

“But I think it will be Warren Gatland, who has a huge advantage because he has been on two Lions tours previously. That’s Warren’s huge advantage over the others.”


[Source  BBC]