x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Grand Slam win for Wales can seal the Lions role for Warren Gatland

If a Lions XV were picked today, it would be heavily loaded with Welshmen, so why not have them answering to the man whose voice and ideas they know best?

Wales coach Warren Gatland is linked with the British Lions coaching job.
Wales coach Warren Gatland is linked with the British Lions coaching job.

This year's Six Nations championship has felt much like an extended job interview for one man, but maybe not the one you might be thinking of.

Stuart Lancaster has certainly left an impression on the English public via three away wins in this competition, even if his prospective full-time bosses at Twickenham have refused to give him an official stamp of approval. The English union, who are looking to appoint a new full-time coach, want to remain dispassionate over the decision.

So England's emotional win in Paris at the weekend will just be a small part of the process.

By that thinking, the result of Wales' World Cup rematch against France in Cardiff tomorrow should not affect Warren Gatland's designs on the job of overseeing the British & Irish Lions in Australia next year.

His should already be inked in for the position, anyway. If a Lions XV were picked today, it would be heavily loaded with Welshmen, so why not have them answering to the man whose voice and ideas they know best?

"He's a great coach and he's got the credentials for it," Gethin Jenkins, the Welsh Lion, was quoted as saying of Gatland this week.

Wales can set the seal on the second Grand Slam of Gatland's spell in charge by beating France. Given that he has honed a precious young squad, it might not end at two, either.

The Welsh union has stated he would be granted a sabbatical if he was offered the Lions position. He might as well book his flight now.