Gatland announcement imminent

Date published: September 4 2016

Warren Gatland has been retained as coach of the British and Irish Lions for their 2017 tour of New Zealand, British media reported on Sunday.

The 52-year-old Wales coach would be confirmed for his second successive tour on Wednesday in Edinburgh, The Times newspaper said.

Gatland, who was born in New Zealand, guided the Lions to a series win over Australia in 2013.

The Lions play 10 matches on the highly anticipated tour, which includes three tests against the All Blacks, a game against the Maori All Blacks and matches against each of New Zealand's five Super Rugby franchises.

The Lions open the tour against a combined provincial selection, likely to be made up of semi-professional and amateur players, on June 3.

They last toured New Zealand in 2005 under England's World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward and were beaten in all three tests by the All Blacks.