BRITISH and Irish Lions coaches Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell hope to persuade head coach Warren Gatland to take a strong nucleus of English players on the 10-match tour of Australia next summer.
Gatland announced Rowntree and Farrell alongside Rob Howley as his forwards and defence coaches respectively, and they hope this month’s stunning 38-21 victory over New Zealand has proved England have the players to secure the Lions a first Test series win since 1997.
England have dominated recent Lions squads, with 20 on the 2005 tour, but only provided eight of the 37-strong party that toured South Africa in 2009.
“I’m hoping, especially off the back of the New Zealand game, that there will be a lot of England players on the tour,” said Rowntree.
Farrell added that the emphatic All Blacks victory had underlined the claims of several England players, such as Manu Tuilagi.
“Quite a few of our old boys stood out, there’s a lot of inexperience in our side in terms of international rugby but there are already guys putting their hands up,” said Farrell.
“For me and Graham to be on the tour and hopefully a good handful of England players to be there as well is going to be a good testament to the environment we’ve all created here.”
The tour starts in June against the Barbarians.