Six Nations audition for Lions role
January 11, 2012
Andy Robinson is one man in the frame for the Lions coaching role © PA Photos
The 2012 Six Nations is set to act as an audition for the head coach role for the forthcoming British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2013.
With the best Europe has to offer all vying against each other for Northern Hemisphere supremacy, Lions chief executive John Feehan has confirmed that the tournament will help them decide who to hand the reins to and went on to say "you don't have to be a genius to work out who the candidates are". And it is likely that the three in the frame are Scotland's Andy Robinson, Wales' Warren Gatland and Ireland's Declan Kidney.
Both Robinson and Gatland have worked with the Lions in the past with the Wales boss on the 2009 tour of South Africa and Robinson journeying to New Zealand back in 2005 with Sir Clive Woodward. And Feehan also refused to rule out a return for Sir Ian McGeechan who took the helm in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009.
And Feehan has confirmed that the chosen coach will be asked to step aside during the 2013 Six Nations. "There are really only four or five people we are seriously considering anyway so it is not like it is a hugely wide palate of people," Feehan said. "All of those people are committed to wanting to do it, which is fantastic.
"So it really comes down to performance [in the Six Nations] and who we feel will work best. Once we have selected the coach, we wouldn't want them involved in the 2013 Six Nations because we would like to take the pressure away from them in terms of results.
"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.
"The likelihood is the coach will come from the Six Nations but we are not tying ourselves down. You don't have to be a genius to work out who the candidates are so from that perspective, keep an eye on them and see how well they do."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.