LONDON // Wales' Six Nations Grand Slam winning coach Warren Gatland and his assistants were named as part of the British and Irish Lions coaching set-up today for next year's tour of South Africa. Tour manager Gerald Davies and the Lions head coach Ian McGeechan confirmed Gatland's appointment in Dublin and that of Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley, who helped Gatland steer Wales to the Six Nations Grand Slam last season.
New Zealander Gatland, formerly in charge of Ireland, will be the forwards coach with Edwards and Howley responsible for defence and backs respectively. The Lions also announced that Wales' conditioning coach Craig White will work with the squad. "Today is an important milestone in our preparation," Davies said in a statement. "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." The Lions face three Tests against the World Cup-winning Springboks next June and July. The lengthy tour kicks off against Highveld on May 30. *Reuters