Warren Gatland Will Not Lead British & Irish Lions' Tour To South Africa In '21
Warren Gatland said that he "won't subject himself" to taking charge of the British & Irish Lions in '21, according to the BBC. The Wales coach led the Lions to victory in Australia in '13, and to a draw in New Zealand this summer. But the 54-year-old said that he will not take charge for the next tour to South Africa, "citing the abuse he suffered and the difficulty of putting a winning team together in such a short time." The New Zealander said, "I'm done. Let someone else reinvent the wheel." Gatland revealed he had been "hurt" by criticism from within the camp, "notably from Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien." While the Lions' six-week, 10-match tour of New Zealand ended with a "creditable drawn series" -- the Lions have only won once there in 100 years -- "a feature of the series was the level of abuse" directed toward Gatland. That included the New Zealand Herald featuring a cartoon of him as a red-nosed clown. Gatland said, "I hated the tour. I did. I just hated the press and the negativity in New Zealand" (BBC, 10/17).