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Gatland 'delighted' with Lions coaching staff

(L to r) Steve Borthwick, Warren Gatland, Rob Howley and Andy Farrell. Credit: PA

Warren Gatland says he is "absolutely delighted" with the quality of his British and Irish Lions coaching team for next summer's tour to New Zealand.

As had been expected, England forwards coach Steve Borthwick, Ireland defence specialist Andy Farrell and current Wales interim head coach Rob Howley will join Lions chief Gatland for the 10-match tour.

Confirmation of the trio came at a press conference in Dublin, with Farrell and Howley returning for another Lions expedition after working with New Zealander Gatland during the successful 2013 Australia tour.

Ex-England skipper and current Red Rose forwards coach Borthwick is a Lions newcomer, but he has made a considerable impression during England's spectacular revival under Eddie Jones.

Gatland said: "Over the next couple of months we want to add some specialist people to the coaching set-up.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the quality we've got here at the moment. There's no rush specifically at the moment. We're just making sure we speak to the right people."


British and Irish Lions could be rebranded if Scotland gains independence

The British and Irish Lions may need to change their name. Credit: PA

The British and Irish Lions could be renamed 'The Lions' if Scotland votes in favour of independence during the September 18th referendum.

A spokesman for the team, represented by players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales confirmed on Friday the issue would be discussed at the next board meeting in October should Scotland leave the union.

Speaking to Telegraph Sport, England's representative on the board, John Spencer, confirmed:

"It has not yet been mentioned but if Scotland voted to become independent then the board would have discuss it at our next meeting.

"We would have to do so out of courtesy to the countries involved. That last thing we want to do is to cause offence to anyone."

Any rebrand is likely to take place before the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017.

Lions finally ready to roar in first Test against Australia

Sam Warburton has hailed the clash at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium to be the biggest of his career. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

After a run of warm-up games, British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton will finally lead his team into battle today in the first Test against Australia.

The eagerly awaited start of the three-match rugby series will kick off at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane at 11:00am (8:00pm local time).

The Lions enter the first Test as marginal favourites over their hosts, despite a final loss blemishing a previously perfect warm-up record on tour.

Up to 30,000 British fans are expected to be in the Queensland city for the match.

Lions survive Hong Kong heat to easily beat Barbarians

The British Lions have begun their 2013 tour with a warm-up thrashing of the Barbarians at Hong Kong Stadium. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire
The 59-8 victory saw the tourists, who are now bound for Australia, wrack up a host of tries, including two scores for Alex Cuthbert. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire
The match was interrupted at regular intervals for the teams to receive drink in the sweltering heat.