Lions coach may lead the team in 2017

 
Julian Harris
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BRITISH and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, who led the team to their first series victory in 16 years over the weekend, says he may take up the reins again for the tour of New Zealand planned for 2017.

Gatland, who is from New Zealand himself, was the subject of strong criticism following his decision to drop veteran centre Brian O’Driscoll ahead of Saturday’s 41-16 victory against Australia, which secured a series win.

The outcome seemed to vindicate his decision and the 49-year-old is now looking to the future.

“Winning a couple of Grand Slams with Wales and reaching the semi-final of the World Cup has given me this opportunity,” Gatland said. “I’m grateful for the chance and if it came up again then it’s something I might look at.”

The coach admitted to being affected by the criticism over his selections, saying after the match that it had marred his enjoyment of the occasion. “I was absolutely shocked, it was vitriolic almost in terms of the criticism,” he said.