Warren Gatland to become Lions Head Coach for third time

Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

Warren Gatland has agreed to become head coach of the British and Irish Lions for the tour to South Africa in 2021, Press Association Sport understands.

The signing gives Gatland a record third successive term. Credit: PA

The record third successive term ends the prospect of the Kiwi replacing Eddie Jones as England boss after the World Cup.

Although the contract has yet to be signed as Gatland is currently in New Zealand, a verbal agreement has been reached.

Read more: 'Informal conversations' about the role sparked speculation back in January

A start date has yet to be finalised, but it is likely that the most successful coach in Six Nations history will take up the role a year out from the tour.

Gatland has coached Wales to three Grand Slam titles in his time with the team. Credit: PA

Recruiting the outgoing Wales Head Coach is a coup for new Lions managing director Ben Calveley. It means Gatland will complete the set of Lions tour destinations following a series win against Australia in 2013 and 1-1 draw with New Zealand four years later.

Fans in Cardiff reacted to the news with joy:

A spokesman for the Lions declined to comment on the news.

Read more Welsh rugby news here.