British & Irish Lions tour manager Gerald Davies and head coach Ian McGeechan announced today in Dublin the coaching and key backroom staff for the Lions’ 2009 tour to South Africa.
Wales’ Grand Slam-winning trio of coaches, Shaun Edwards, Warren Gatland and Rob Howley, will join Ian McGeechan in South Africa and will be responsible for defence, forwards and backs coaching respectively.
This talented group of internationally-experienced coaches will be joined in the Lions management team by Craig White, who will be responsible for the physical conditioning of the players, Doctor James Robson, leading the medical team, Rhys Long, who will oversee performance analysis, and Greg Thomas, who will head the media team.
Tour manager Gerald Davies said: “Today is an important milestone in our preparation. 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.”
Commenting on the coaching appointments, head coach Ian McGeechan said: “Lions tours are unique as we have to meld together players from four different countries. There has to be a unified, common approach on the tour with coaches and players working together.
“We therefore have to create a positive environment and appoint the right personnel to help devise the right strategies to take on the Springboks at home.
“I am delighted with today’s appointments and confident that we can come together quickly as preparation time is always short.
“Working with coaches and personnel that I know well and who have successful track records and experience ensures that we will get the best out of the players and provide the greatest chance of winning the Test series.”