5 Sep 2012

Warren Gatland to coach Lions in Australia

6:27 am on 5 September 2012

Warren Gatland says he's ready for a "hell of a challenge" after being appointed head coach of the British and Irish Lions for next year's rugby tour of Australia.

The New Zealander, currently coach of Wales, will be looking to lead the Lions to their first Test series win in 16 years following their 1997 success in South Africa.

Gatland will be the second overseas coach of the Lions following compatriot Sir Graham Henry, who was in charge during the 2-1 series defeat in Australia in 2001.

The Welsh Rugby Union confirmed Gatland would be released from Wales duty to concentrate on the Lions for a substantial portion of the rugby year.

The Lions tour begins against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June the 1st before they play the first of three Tests against Australia in Brisbane on June the 22nd.