Warren Gatland has backed Ireland boss Andy Farrell to head coach British and Irish Lions for the 2025 tour of Australia.
Gatland has been involved with the Lions in their last three tours of Australia (2013), New Zealand (2017) and South Africa (2021). Under him the Lions managed a win over Australia, drawn series over the All Blacks and a 1-2 series defeat against the Springboks.
Nevertheless, the 60-year-old is currently on his second stint with Wales as head coach replacing Wayne Pivac and guided them to a quarter-final in the recently concluded World Cup.
Despite his deep connection with the side, Gatland insisted that Farrell, who worked as his assistant during the Lions tours in 2013 and 2017 will be an ideal candidate to coach them in the upcoming series.
Farrell's growth with Ireland has been evident as he led them to a record 17-match winning streak and to the top of the table in the rankings before they were handed a defeat in the quarter-finals by the All Blacks.
"A few weeks ago, I was asked by Nigel Walker, Wales' director of rugby, if I was interested in putting my name forward to be head coach for the next tour in Australia in 2025," Gatland wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.
"It did not take long to get back to him.
"I told him I was not going to put my name forward. I told Nigel that I would have no problem if any of my support staff were to be asked to be involved as I would see it as a great experience for them.
"But I think it is the opportunity now for someone else to be head coach and Andy Farrell would have my backing for the job.
"You cannot deny what Ireland has achieved as a nation over the last few years and you are starting to see the fruition of the alignment between the Irish provinces and the union. There is no doubt that Andy has done a fantastic job."