More preparation will strengthen Lions in future tours - Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland wants more preparation time for the Lions
Warren Gatland wants more preparation time for the Lions
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Warren Gatland believes British and Irish Lions can achieve greater heights with more preparation time in future tours.

The recently concluded series against South Africa was the third consecutive tour as head coach for Gatland with the Lions experiencing their first defeat following a 19-16 loss in the final game on Saturday with the previous two tours of Australia and New Zealand ending up with a win and a draw respectively.

Gatland has not ruled himself out of the next Lions tour of Australia in 2025 but urged the organisers to plan the schedule in such a way that the tourists get more time to prepare.

“It’s just about the Lions talking to the clubs and unions about having that adequate preparation time to go on a tour,” he said.

“You are playing away from home, normally with a lot of travel. You are putting a team together in such a short period of time and there’s a lot of expectation to win a series.

“As the Lions, when you’re putting together the best players from the northern hemisphere, we get less preparation time than the national teams do when they go on their own tours. It’s a common theme. I’ve been continually saying it.

“Hopefully in the next six months they can iron that out and we can get the schedule for four years’ time tidied up in terms of when finals are on, so that you can get the whole squad together for a couple of weeks before you go on tour.

“That would make a lot of difference in terms of helping preparation.”