Jenkins, Rowntree join Lions staff

Date published: March 16 2017

Neil Jenkins and Graham Rowntree will join The British and Irish Lions coaching team for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand.

Wales’ Jenkins and Harlequins’ Rowntree will, along with fellow coaches Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley, complete the team headed by Warren Gatland.

Both will be touring with the Lions for the fifth time – twice as players and three times as coaches, including the successful series in Australia in 2013.

Gatland said: “We all know what Neil and Graham bring – a huge amount of knowledge, experience and expertise at club, international and eight Lions Tours between them. They understand what it will take to win in New Zealand and to have them on board again is positive.

“I know Graham and Steve will complement each other and Neil will give us valuable backs and skills support. Given the schedule, with two games a week, having six coaches will allow us to devote enough time to ensuring we are successful.

“I believe we have a coaching team that will get the best out of what will be a highly talented and motivated group of players capable of winning the Test series.”

Jenkins said: “It is a huge honour to be asked to be part of the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour. The Lions is a special and unique side and I am fortunate to be heading on my fifth Tour.

“I am excited to be joining up with a very experienced, successful coaching team for what is going to be a huge challenge against the World Champions.

“I have experienced two series wins, most recently in 2013 and I’m looking forward to getting out on the training pitch and preparing for the challenge this summer.”

Rowntree said: “I am honoured to be asked to tour with the British and rish Lions again and I really am thankful to Harlequins, John Kingston and David Ellis for allowing me to go.

“Having experienced the highs and the lows of the Lions as a player and a coach, I know how special it is. This year will be the ultimate challenge considering the form that New Zealand have been in across the last decade, but looking at the talent and potential in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to do something incredible.

“I am grateful and excited for the opportunity ahead, but my attention will firmly remain on Harlequins until the conclusion of our season.”

 


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