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Warren Gatland to coach British and Irish Lions for 2021 South Africa tour as New Zealander takes charge of team for the third time

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/05/2019 Press Association
Wales rugby head coach Warren Gatland during the team announcement at the Vale Resort, Hensol. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images) © Getty Images Wales rugby head coach Warren Gatland during the team announcement at the Vale Resort, Hensol. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

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

The Lions have moved swiftly to secure Gatland for a record third successive term, in the process ending the prospect of the Kiwi replacing Eddie Jones as England boss after the World Cup.

Warren Gatland wearing a suit and tie: Gatland pictured during the British and Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand back in 2017 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gatland pictured during the British and Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand back in 2017

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

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.

Warren Gatland et al. wearing costumes: The Kiwi takes a selfie with Lions fans during their match against NZ Maori on the 2017 tour © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Kiwi takes a selfie with Lions fans during their match against NZ Maori on the 2017 tour

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.

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

Gallery: Predicted England squad for the Rugby World Cup (Read Sport)

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