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2009 Lions Audio: Warren Gatland And Gerald Davies

2009 Lions Audio: Warren Gatland And Gerald Davies

IrishRugby.ie was on hand at Wednesday’s announcement of the coaching staff and backroom team for the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa. We got the thoughts of the new Lions forwards coach Warren Gatland and also caught up with the tour manager Gerald Davies, that Welsh wizard of days gone by.

Warren Gatland has been appointed as forwards coach to the 2009 British & Irish Lions squad.

Gatland, who became the 20th Welsh coach in November 2007, immediately tasted success when four months later he guided Wales to the 2008 RBS Six Nations title and the nation’s 10th Grand Slam.

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He first tasted defeat when Wales were beaten in both Tests of their South African tour in June earlier this year.

The former hooker made his All Black debut against Western Australia in Perth and played 17 times for New Zealand, without playing in a Test.

He captained and made 140 appearances for Waikato, including a 38-10 win over the 1993 British & Irish Lions.

Gatland began his coaching career as a player-coach for Taupiri in 1989 and stayed on in Ireland after the 1989 New Zealand tour to act as player-coach for Galwegians.

In 1996, he became Connacht coach before succeeding Brian Ashton as Ireland coach in 1998, a post he held until 2001 with a record of 18 wins, a draw and 19 defeats from his 38 games in charge.

In 2003 as director of rugby, he steered Wasps to the Premiership title before the London outfit went on to taste a three-in-a-row.

He returned to New Zealand in 2005, where he took over as coach to the Waikato Air New Zealand Cup team and in 2006 they won the Air New Zealand Cup.

He joined the Waikato Chiefs Super 14 team as technical advisor before taking over in Wales.

Speaking after the announcement of his Lions appointment, Gatland talked about taking on the role of British & Irish Lions forwards coach, his view of Lions tours as a New Zealander and how the Ian McGeechan-led side can make the 2009 tour to South Africa a success.

Click here to listen to the interview in full.

Gerald Davies appeared in five Tests while touring twice with the British & Irish Lions as a player and was appointed tour manager of the 2009 Lions squad back in November 2007.

He has toured to South Africa (1968) and New Zealand (1971) as a player.

He made his international debut on December 3, 1966 against Australia in Cardiff, winning his 46th and final cap against the same opposition in 1978. He scored a then record 20 tries for his country.

The former Wales centre-cum-winger spoke to IrishRugby.ie about the ethos of the Lions, the appointed coaches coming on board and the player selection policy.

Click here to listen to the interview in full.