After Warren Gatland was announced as the head coach for the British and Irish Lions for the third successive time, English, Irish and Scottish fans think the upcoming series in South Africa in 2021 will be much like the last two.
Fans from these three nations have taken to Twitter to show their slight disappointment in this decision, as it will most likely result in Gatland favouring Welsh players.
Over the past two tours to Australia and New Zealand, Gatland has usually turned to Welsh players when it has come down to tough decisions, as, ultimately, that is the team that he has coached for over a decade.
This was shown in the third test against Australia in 2013, where Gatland decided to field 10 Welshman, including dropping the legendary Brian O’Driscoll for Jonathan Davies. Then again, Wales had recently won the Six Nations, so there was a legitimate argument that they had the best players in the British Isles.
Continue reading below…
Gatland has not been afraid in the past to show favour to his Welsh players, which is understandable as they are the ones he knows best and knows what they will deliver. On the other hand, Scottish fans feel that this basically means that there will be one token Scot on tour, Stuart Hogg.
Welsh fans have been quick to respond on social media saying that not only will Gatland no longer be in charge of Wales in 2021, but it is the logical choice based on his track record. A win in Australia in 2013 and a draw series with the All Blacks in 2017 speaks for itself, and given that Gatland leaves his post in charge of Wales at the end of the World Cup this year, and could possibly take over England, this favouritism that he has been accused of is less likely to happen.
Then again, English, Irish and Scottish fans are still not pleased. This is what they’ve said:
More biased coaching towards the Welsh
— Gabriel (@Gabriel19410758) May 10, 2019
More welsh crash-ball ?
— Paul Tuff (@PaulTuff) May 10, 2019
Welsh lads ordering there tickets now . Ffs
— Adam Chandler (@AdamChandler81) May 10, 2019
Wales vs. South Africa, then.
— Miles Latham (@milesaffixxius) May 10, 2019
Unlucky for England players
— Ade White (@ade_white) May 10, 2019
The welsh squad will be happy today, a few more lions caps for them.
— @donhainsworth (@Donhainsworth) May 10, 2019
Well…may as get Hoggy his “token Scot” badge made up now ?
— Michael Stowe (@michaeljstowe) May 10, 2019
Welsh team incoming. ?
— Jay:H (@Hearny15) May 10, 2019
Well no need for the Scottish guys to lose any sleep about making the squad its basically 18 Welsh 14 English about 10 Irish and a cpl token Scots. Should tell this prick to ram it
— Onehappytim (@onehappytim) May 10, 2019
@PatrickkKellyy that’s warrenball for you
— Dan Finnegan (@DanFinnegan1) May 10, 2019
Well good luck to Wales on there next lions tour lol..
— Matt Kenneally (@matt_kenneally0) May 10, 2019
That'll be the squad loaded with Welsh players then and better players overlooked
— Stewart Taylor (@stewart_taylor) May 10, 2019
Welsh lions. Remind me, does the WRU receive payment if their contracted players goes on tour?
— Oli Williams (@OliWilliams1) May 10, 2019
Gatland has always been the favourite to take this role, and after guiding Wales to a Grand Slam this year and to second place in the world rankings, it was definitely the straightforward choice.
Although his style of ‘Warren Ball’ has been criticised at times, his results speak for themselves, and he knows how to get the best of the players that he is in charge of.
While the English, Irish and Scottish fans may be complaining, they will not be if he comes back from South Africa with a series win.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.