Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World



Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

RugbyPass+ Home

Ireland boss Farrell the latest to comment on possibly working with the 2021 Lions

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Andy Farrell hopes to have greater clarity on a potential coaching role with the British and Irish Lions by the end of the month but he insists his Ireland commitments will take precedence. Lions head coach Warren Gatland is reported to be assembling a formidable coaching line-up for this summer’s series in South Africa, including Ireland boss Farrell and Scotland coach Gregor Townsend.


Uncertainty still surrounds that trip due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while a possible Irish tour of the Pacific Islands is also up in the air. Farrell, whose immediate focus is on his side’s two remaining Guinness Six Nations games, was coy about the situation as he awaits further information.

“I am as updated as you are on all the different ramifications that are being bounced about from day to day,” said the 45-year-old Farrell, who was Lions defence coach on the 2013 tour of Australia and again in 2017 in New Zealand.

Video Spacer

Mitsubishi Motor-Vation Launch Video
Video Spacer
Mitsubishi Motor-Vation Launch Video

“There is nothing I know of that is going on at this moment in time that gives any clarity on the situation whatsoever. We don’t know whether there is a Lions tour going on, we don’t know whether there is a southern tour going on with Ireland. I hear that hopefully by the end of the month we will know something more concrete.”

The Lions are scheduled to play a warm-up match against Japan in Edinburgh on June 26 before travelling to South Africa. Tests against the Springboks are due to be played on July 24 and August 7 in Johannesburg, either side of a match in Cape Town on July 31.

Asked if he would like to be involved, Farrell replied: “Like I’ve always said – and it’s the truth – I will always do the right thing for Irish rugby. At this moment in time, we don’t know whether one tour is going ahead, whether both tours are going ahead, or vice versa. We have no clarity and no certainty on anything yet, so I suppose we will have to wait until the end of the month.”


According to a report in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, New Zealander Gatland is lining up Farrell, Townsend and England’s defence coach John Mitchell for his management team. Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick, Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree and Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins could also be involved.

Farrell would require permission from the IRFU to join Gatland’s staff. He is unsure whether an Ireland tour going ahead would definitely rule him out of Lions involvement. “Again, we don’t know what that tour looks like yet,” he said of Ireland’s possible trip to the southern hemisphere.

“I don’t know what is happening as far as the Lions is concerned regarding warm-up matches. I suppose the fallout from those warm-up matches is going to have different ramifications on what happens with the rest of world rugby and who is available for tours, so we don’t know what the map looks like.”

Ireland are currently preparing to face Scotland on March 14 before completing their Six Nations campaign at home to England six days later. Farrell has this week been boosted by captain Johnny Sexton and flanker Peter O’Mahony agreeing contract extensions with the IRFU.


“It’s fantastic news. Two very important pieces of our jigsaw going forward for all sorts of reasons,” said Farrell. “They are delighted to get their contracts over the line and settle their futures, and we are even more so delighted for them.”


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
TRENDING 'Horrible, vicious person' query has shown Erasmus in a good light 'Horrible, vicious person' query has shown Erasmus in a good light