Andy Farrell says it is a ‘tremendous honour’ to be appointed as head coach of the British and Irish Lions for the tour of Australia in 2025.
The 48-year-old Englishman – a former rugby league star before converting to union – has been lauded as one of the finest coaches on the planet after leading Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam last year, as well as a series victory over the All Blacks in 2022.
He takes over the reins from Warren Gatland after working as the Kiwi’s assistant on the Lions’ triumphant tour of Australia back in 2013 and the drawn series with New Zealand in 2017.
Despite falling short with Ireland at last year’s World Cup at the quarter-final stage, Farrell recently put pen to paper on a new contract with the men in green until 2027 and is set to take up his duties with the Lions this winter.
‘It is a tremendous honour and a privilege to be named head coach of the British and Irish Lions,’ Farrell said in a statement.
‘I know how special Lions tours are having been involved in the 2013 and 2017 Tours, so I am delighted to get the chance to lead the team in 2025.
‘There is a wealth of talent across Britain and Ireland, and I am looking forward to building a team that can deliver the ultimate goal of success in Australia.
‘I also want to thank the Irish Rugby Football Union for their support in allowing me to accept this prestigious opportunity.’
Farrell will take charge of the Lions for 10 matches in total, concluding with a three-Test series against the Wallabies, which starts in Brisbane and ends in Sydney.
He added: ‘The British & Irish Lions fan base is really special, uniting supporters from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and beyond.
‘Mobilising that sea of red by creating a team that our fans can connect with and be proud of will be a key priority for me and will be crucial to our success.’
British & Irish Lions CEO Ben Calveley said Farrell’s appointment put the touring party in the best possible position for achieving success Down Under.
‘We are delighted to announce Andy Farrell as head coach of the British and Irish Lions for the Tour to Australia in 2025,’ Calveley stated.
‘Andy is without question one of the best coaches in the world and knows what it takes to win a series in Australia given his involvement in the series win in 2013.
‘His achievements with Ireland in recent years have been exceptional and his coaching experience at Test-match level with Ireland, England and the British and Irish Lions make him an outstanding candidate for this role.
‘Andy is an excellent appointment for us and one which we believe will excite players and fans alike.’
He added: ‘It is clear to see that Andy has built a very strong connection between the Irish team and its fans and we are relishing a similarly strong connection being created with Lions fans in 2025.
‘We firmly believe his appointment puts us in a great position to achieve success on the field and I’m looking forward to working alongside him as we build towards the tour.
‘I’d also like to offer our sincere gratitude to the Irish Rugby Football Union and its CEO Kevin Potts for their support in facilitating Andy coming on board as head coach.’
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