Kiwi Native

Warren Gatland officially confirmed as the 2017 Lions head coach

The 52-year-old retains the position he held for the 2013 success over Australia.

Murray Kinsella reports from Edinburgh

WARREN GATLAND HAS been officially confirmed as head coach for the 2017 Lions tour to New Zealand.

Gatland led the victorious series against Australia in 2013 and also served as an influential assistant to Ian McGeechan on the 2009 tour of South Africa.

Warren Gatland Gatland will face his home nation again next summer. Cathal Noonan / INPHO Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

The appointment of 52-year-old Gatland for next year’s visit to his native New Zealand was confirmed by the Lions at an event in Edinburgh this afternoon.

The Lions face a 10-game tour of New Zealand next summer, with the task made all the more demanding by the recent revelation that a host of All Blacks stars will feature for their franchises in the warm-up games before the Test series.

The British and Irish tourists begin their quest on 3 June 2017 against a Provincial XV in Whangarei, before facing the Blues, Crusaders, Highlanders, Māori All Blacks and Chiefs.

The first Test against New Zealand takes place on 24 June in Auckland, with a final mid-week clash against Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes the following week.

The second Test will be played in Wellington on 1 July, with the final fixture set for Auckland on 8 July.

Gatland will name his assistant coaches on 7 December, with his playing squad set to be announced in April of next year.

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