Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lions job in Kidney's hands

DECLAN Kidney has simply been told to win the Six Nations to earn the top job for next year’s Lion’s tour.

Warren Gatland, Andy Robinson and Declan Kidney will all effectively be on trial during the forthcoming Six Nations to be head coach of next year’s British and Irish Lions.

The respective coaches of Wales, Scotland and Ireland are the leading candidates to take charge of next year's 10-match tour to Australia.

Should the Lions committee ultimately decide that none of them fit the bill, chief executive John Feehan has confirmed that Ian McGeechan would be considered.

The Lions expect to make the appointment in April. All three national coaches have indicated their desire to lead the Lions.

The successful candidate will stand down from his current role for next year’s Six Nations in order to maximise his Lions preparation time.

“You don't have to be a genius to work out who the candidates are so, from that perspective, we will keep an eye on them and see how well they do (in the Six Nations),” Feehan said.

“All of those people are committed to wanting to do it, which is fantastic. It comes down to performance now and who we feel will work best.

”We also want the coach to be able to get access to and contact with all the international players in the different squads. He is not going to be able to do that if he is an active coach.

“We have the support of the Six Nations to do that.”

Feehan was quick to point out that the job would not necessarily go to the coach who wins the Six Nations, stressing the decision would be based on relative performance.

England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster will not be considered because he does not have the required experience, nor will whoever is appointed as their full-time coach.

Feehan confirmed that Lions experience will be key in the final decision

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