England coach Eddie Jones says British & Irish Lions mentor Warren Gatland has made contact with his coaching staff ahead of next year’s tour of South Africa.
EIGHT MATCHES, THREE TESTS
Gatland’s British & Irish Lions are scheduled to travel South Africa for an eight-match tour, including three Tests against the Springboks, starting in July 2021.
Jones has encouraged his assistant coaches to take up positions on the Lions coaching staff if the opportunity presents itself after finding out Gatland had approached the Rugby Football Union (RFU) about the possibility.
‘There has been contact. Warren has gone round the unions and chatted to the CEOs about potential staff,’ Jones revealed.
‘We are open to any opportunity for our staff and coaches to grow. We will wait and see.”
COULD BE A SHREWD MOVE
According to a report in the Telegraph, England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot and defence coach John Mitchell are on Gatland’s radar and both are front-runners to take up similar roles within the Lions set-up.
It would be a shrewd move on the astute Gatland’s part to involved both Proudfoot and Mitchell in his coaching set-up.
Both have intimate knowledge of not only the Springboks, but rugby in South Africa.
Proudfoot was the Springboks’ forwards coach at last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. Somewhat surprisingly to many, his contract wasn’t renewed in 2020.
Mitchell has coached both the Lions and Bulls, and is also a previous All Blacks coach.