Rugby Union

The 54-year-old calls time on his phenomenal period with the Lions team..

Warren Gatland calls time on his British and Irish Lions career

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Back in 2013, after his success with Wales, Warren Gatland was appointed as head coach of the British and Irish Lions squad and quickly set about winning plaudits for his work with the side.

In his first year in charge, he managed to lead his team to an unexpected and largely impressive victory over Australia, and in doing so, deservedly earned the coveted 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach award, with his team winning Team of the Year for their fantastic showing against the Aussies.

More recently, Gatland contributed unbelievably to a draw with the All Blacks in a test that they may well have won had luck been more favourable for them. 

However, with all this success and praise, Gatland has stunningly revealed he is done with the Lions team now, citing press criticism and critiques from senior players as the main reasons.

"I wouldn’t subject myself to another tour, I’m done. I hated the tour. I hated the press and the negativity in New Zealand," Gatland revealed.

Furthermore, Gatland revealed that the real final nail in the coffin was Sean O'Brien's unnecessary comments about the coaching of the Lions team, and how, if their coaching setup was better, they would have decimated the All Blacks.

"And, I have to be honest, what Sean O’Brien said took a bit of the gloss of the achievement.

"To watch the coaches and backroom staff work their absolute b******s off on that tour, then have someone come out and make a comment like that… it really, really did hurt.”

New Zealand v British & Irish Lions - Third Test

As well as causing great disrespect to the All Blacks team, O'Brien's remarks caused Gatland to personally contact him for an explanation, with O'Brien not answering for a three-week period, only to then completely disregard his former coach's request for a private call.

"He texted me three weeks later to say that he had just cleared his voicemail and that he had been taken out context. I texted back to say he could call me at any time. I’ve not heard back from him."

The 54-year-old ends by arguing that on reflection, his achievements will be looked back on very fondly, and states that if people want to throw all criticism at the head coach, they can find a new one.

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Topics:
Ireland Rugby
New Zeland Rugby
England Rugby
Six Nations
Wales Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup
Scotland Rugby
Rugby Union

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