Ireland's Andy Farrell confirmed as Lions assistant coach

Steve Borthwick is forwards coach and Rob Howley will oversee the attack.

ANDY FARRELL HAS been confirmed as the Lions’ defence coach for next summer’s tour of New Zealand.

Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley, Warren Gatland and coach Andy Farrell Borthwick, Howley, Gatland and Farrell. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

The Ireland assistant coach will join Lions boss Warren Gatland on the 10-match trip, while Welshman Rob Howley – who was a coach on the 2009 and 2013 tours – has been confirmed as the 2017 Lions attack coach.

England’s Steve Borthwick will travel as the Lions’ forwards coach.

Speaking in Carton House in Ireland this afternoon, Gatland welcomed his assistants to the 2017 coaching team, while also stating that he hopes to “add some specialist people” over the coming months.

I’m excited about this coaching team,” said Gatland. “I said from the outset it was important to have continuity because we need to hit the ground running, given the limited preparation time.

“In Rob and Andy, we have guys who understand the Lions concept, who have worked together and know how to coach a winning Lions team.

“It is also important to have some new input. Steve has done a great job in shaping the England pack and played a major role in their recent run of successes, so I’m looking forward to working with him.

“We may bring in a specialist coach but, fundamentally, this is the core coaching team we believe can help a talented group of players win a Test series in New Zealand.”

Andy Farrell and Rob Howley, Warren Gatland and Steve Borthwick The 2017 Lions coaching team. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Farrell was the Lions’ defence coach on the successful tour of Australia in 2013, when his leadership of the defensive side of the game impressed Irish players such as Johnny Sexton, Paul O’Connell and Sean O’Brien.

The Englishman joined Ireland’s coaching set-up earlier this year, helping them to victories over South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in recent months.

The Lions is a unique experience for players and coaches,” said Farrell of his appointment. “To bring together the best players from four countries and go to the home of the world champions to take them on in their own backyward – that’s pretty special.

“As a group, we are going to be tested across the board against the number one ranked team in the world. The challenge for us will be to get on the same page as quickly as possible, appreciate the danger they pose and find solutions to their attacking threats.”

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