Gatland ‘clearly’ the frontrunner for Lions job

Date published: January 12 2016

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is in pole position to coach the British and Irish Lions in 2017, according to Lions chief executive John Feehan.

Gatland led the Lions to a 2-1 series win over Australia back in 2013.

Feehan said that based on Gatland's record he was an obvious contender to lead the side, along with the rest of the home nations coaches including Joe Schmidt, Vern Cotter and even Eddie Jones.

Schmidt of those other coaches would appear to be the main contender, having guided Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations championships.

"It would absolutely ludicrous of me to say that Warren would not be the leading contender, he clearly is," Feehan said.

"If he is involved in the next tour it will be a third tour for him, he has a record that is pretty much second to none in the northern hemisphere and so he has to be the leading contender.

"The four home-based coaches are a pretty good starting point. It is unlikely that we will move outside of that, but we will keep an open mind.

"We will consider any international coach who wants to be involved."