England’s scrum coach and backs coach Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell have been cleared by the RFU to join Warren Gatland’s Lions coaching team for the tour to Australia next summer.
Gatland has been keen to appoint Rowntree and Farrell to his back room team and will be pleased that the RFU have given the green light to approach the pair.
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie confirmed that the coaches would be available if requested by Gatland saying “I don’t see it as a negative, I see it very much as a positive.”
“Our view is that it is an honour to be asked to be involved with the Lions. We want to support the Lions. We are one of the shareholders in the Lions, so why wouldn’t we?
Referring to the clash of schedules when England tour Argentina at the same time as the Lions are in Australia, Ritchie added “Of course it has some difficulties in terms of the summer tour in Argentina, but we would deal with that.”
“You have to see it as an opportunity. Not only is it an opportunity but you would believe they would learn a lot in those situations and it gives us an opportunity to broaden our horizons.”
Lions head coach Gatland is due to name his coaching team later this month.