Neil Jenkins and Graham Rowntree join British and Irish Lions coaching panel

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins will again be part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team
Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins will again be part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team

Neil Jenkins and Graham Rowntree have been added to the coaching panel of British and Irish Lions for the gruelling tour of New Zealand in June.

Former fly-half Jenkins is Wales' highest ever points-scorer and has been part of backroom staff in previous two Lions tour including the victorious 2013 series in Australia under head coach Warren Gatland. He is also the kicking skills coach of Wales since 2004.

Rowntree, 45, like Jenkins was part of the coaching team in 2009 and 2013 Lions tours and worked with England team for eight years as forwards coach - a post which he resigned following the exit of Stuart Lancaster.

Gatland believes the experience of Rowntree and Jenkins will be highly beneficial as they face a daunting task of beating the back to back World Champions at their own backyard.

"We all know what Neil and Graham bring - a huge amount of knowledge, experience and expertise at club [level], international [level] and eight Lions Tours between them. They understand what it will take to win in New Zealand and to have them on board again is positive.

"I know Graham and Steve will complement each other and Neil will give us valuable backs and skills support. Given the schedule, with two games a week, having six coaches will allow us to devote enough time to ensuring we are successful."

Both Jenkins and Rowntree are excited about the challenge ahead.

"I am excited to be joining up with a very experienced, successful coaching team for what is going to be a huge challenge against the world champions," said Jenkins.

" This year will be the ultimate challenge considering the form that New Zealand have been in across the last decade, but looking at the talent and potential in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to do something incredible," added Rowntree.

The duo will join Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley, who were announced as assistant coaches in December last year.