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'The Brave and the Bald': Social media flooded with comments on the lack of hair amongst Gatland's Lions coaching staff

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by INPHO/Dan Sheridan via Lions)

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Tuesday’s much-anticipated announcement by Warren Gatland of his British and Irish Lions coaching team was met by an unusual response. There was inevitably going to be plenty of interest in who did and did not make the staff, but one thing that was not on the agenda beforehand became the biggest talking point by far online – the lack of hair in Gatland’s coaching team. 


Gatland’s staff for this year’s tour of South Africa includes Scotland team duo Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy, who will respectively serve as the Lions attack coach and defence coaches. 

The staff is completed by Neil Jenkins and Robin McBryde, who both worked with Gatland during his time in charge of Wales. Current Wales skills coach Jenkins joins the staff as kicking coach, the role he had on the previous Lions tour, and Leinster assistant coach McBryde joins as forwards coach. 

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Wales out-half and Lions selection contender Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access
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Wales out-half and Lions selection contender Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access

With each coach’s mugshot laid next to one another online, it was hard not to notice the trait that unites Tuesday’s four additions. In fact, Gatland’s usual buzz cut now looks like long flowing locks when pictured alongside the rest of his coaching staff, as he was by far and away the most hirsute member of the team. 

Social media was flooded with comments about the make-up of the Lions coaching team assembled by Gatland. These ranged from the tour being named “The Brave and the Bald” to suggestions that the Lions will not need to spend on shampoo or barbers this year. There has not been a shortage of photos of eggs either. 

Of course, there were serious responses to this team, with some questioning how France defence coach and long-time Gatland colleague Shaun Edwards or Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster did not make the coaching team. The pair would have been very well suited to this coaching team based on their rugby credentials alone, but their smooth heads would have also clearly met one of Gatland’s other main requirements. 




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