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If rugby in the Americas continues to improve, a Lions tour of Argentina, USA and Canada in 16 years’ time should be seriously considered
The concept of the Lions is glowing in the aftermath of an exhilarating series, but give it a few months and the usual questions will return. One of the trickier ones is, what is the Lions for?
It was, after all, born in the amateur era, when men were men, and jobs were inconveniences from which to take a three-month break for some rugby in a far-off land. Times have changed, and so have Lions tours, those long, immersive adventures through another country, building slowly and deliciously towards a Test series, now compacted into a furious six-week fling of suffocating intensity.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/10/lions-tour-argentina-usa-canada-rugby-union
Critics attack his teams for playing Warrenball but as the only unbeaten Lions coach of the professional era Gatland has shown yet again he gets results
He would not rule it out, but nor was he chomping at the bit for another shot. Warren Gatland refused to be drawn on the prospect of another Lions tour. “I don’t know,” he said. “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge.” For now, obviously, he is just thinking about Wales, the autumn and preparing for the World Cup in two years’ time. Whether he is in position to take on another Lions tour in 2021 remains to be seen.
It is a scarcely guarded secret that he has his eye on the All Blacks job. And the All Blacks are said to have theirs on him. His contract with Wales runs to the World Cup, Steve Hansen’s with New Zealand until then, too. Hansen has said he will step down, sparking the mother of all struggles for the job.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jul/08/warren-gatland-lions-all-blacks-next-coach
The England captain insists he has no regrets over missing the Lions squads in 2013 and 2017 and is focused on guiding a youthful squad on tour
If he had a cap for every week he has been banned, Dylan Hartley would still be a veteran, on 60. As it is, the England captain – barring injury, Lions call-up or, perish the thought, suspension – is about to win caps 85 and 86. Had he been a good boy, he would be on 100-plus by now. And he would be a Lion, certainly in 2013, possibly even now.
Regrets? “No,” he says, quietly but firmly. “It doesn’t define me. I’m OK with it.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/03/dylan-hartley-puts-lions-behind-him-to-lead-young-england-side-in-argentina