Andy Farrell a favourite to become next British & Irish Lions coach 1 year ago

Andy Farrell a favourite to become next British & Irish Lions coach

Ireland assistant coach Andy Farrell has been installed as the prohibitive favourite by betting company SportNation to become the next British & Irish Lions coach.

Farrell has previously served as the defence coach on the Lions tour of Australia in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017 and was announced as Joe Schmidt's successor last week after the Ireland head coach decided to resign from the role after next year's Rugby World Cup.

SportNation have Farrell installed as the favourite with Schmidt and England head coach Eddie Jones both following and then Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young and Wales head coach Warren Gatland trailing thereafter.

Gatland ruled himself out of contention for the 2021 tour of South Africa following last year's tour of New Zealand and cited a lack of continuity and a lack of preparation time as the factors behind his decision.

"I wouldn't subject myself to that," said Gatland.

"What I've learned from my Lions' experiences is how difficult it is to put some continuity together in terms of people and staff, and the lack of preparation time. Let someone else do it. Let someone else reinvent the wheel."

The Wales coach added that he hated the tour and that the press coverage in New Zealand ruffled him with the New Zealand Herald caricaturing him as a clown after the 30-15 loss to the All Blacks in the first Test.

"I'm done. I hated the tour. I did. I just hated the press and the negativity in New Zealand. When I look back on it now, there were a lot of things that were satisfying and what an achievement it was, but it was tough work. It was hard."