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'A world-class performance team': Wales the dominant player as Lions boss Gatland names his 15 medical, S&C and analysis staff

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Warren Gatland has taken the latest step in his preparations for the 2021 Lions tour to South Africa, unveiling the 15 high performance people who will work with him on the trip in the areas of medical, strength and conditioning and analysis. Two other additions – a chef and a communications specialist – have also been named.   

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There are a number of faces very familiar to the New Zealander as eight of the 15 high performance call-ups are currently working for Wales while some have also toured previously with Gatland’s Lions.   

“I’m thrilled to have secured a world-class performance team,” said Gatland on Thursday in the wake of an administration day in London on Wednesday which saw 36 of his chosen 37 Lions players check-in as a group for the first time, Parisian-based Finn Russell the sole absentee. 

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Scotland’s Ali Price on the moment he learned that he was a 2021 Lions pick

“For obvious reasons, this summer’s Lions tour to South Africa will be a bit different. It will present a number of unique challenges, not only for the players but the staff too – who all work so incredibly hard behind the scenes.

“I feel reassured when I see the calibre and experience of each individual I have been able to assemble, and I know that whatever challenges we may face on tour we will deal with them in the best way possible. I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the four home unions for the flexibility and cooperation they have shown in releasing their employees.”

Current Wales boss Wayne Pivac, who is planning for his team’s series versus Argentina, was delighted that so much of his recent Guinness Six Nations title-winning backroom staff had been snapped up by the Lions, ten members when his chef and communications specialist are included. “It’s a great honour and opportunity for them personally, but I also see it as an opportunity for Wales and our national squad.

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“It provides those going with new experiences, new challenges and they will come back into the Wales set-up with even more knowledge and experience and that is a good thing for us. It also allows a number of our management to step up internally into roles and allows us to bring in additional staff from across the WRU pathway to add to the environment and to add to their experience, which is beneficial all around.”

MEDICAL
Prabhat Mathema – Head of Medical (WRU) 
Dr Geoff Davies – Doctor (WRU) 
Dr Ciaran Cosgrave – Doctor (IRFU) 
Bob Stewart – Physio (RFU) 
John Miles – Physio (WRU) 
Ann-Marie Birmingham – Soft tissue therapist (RFU)
Hanlie Fouche – Soft tissue therapist (WRU) 

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
Paul Stridgeon – Head of strength and conditioning (WRU) 
Jon Clarke – Strength and conditioning coach (RFU) 
Huw Bennett – Strength and conditioning coach (WRU) 
Brian Cunniffe – Sports scientist (English Institute of Sport)

ANALYSIS
Rhodri Bown – Head of analysis (WRU)
Vinny Hammond – Analyst (IRFU) 
Marc Kinnaird – Analyst (WRU) 
Gavin Vaughan – Analyst (SRU) 

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OTHER AREAS 
Andre Moore – Chef (WRU)
Luke Broadley – Communications assistant (WRU)

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'A world-class performance team': Wales the dominant player as Lions boss Gatland names his 15 medical, S&C and analysis staff

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