Shaun Edwards stays behind as Warren Gatland confirms three Lions assistants

Last Updated: 12/12/12 2:11pm

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Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree: Reprising their England coaching roles with the Lions

Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree: Reprising their England coaching roles with the Lions

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Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Rob Howley have been confirmed as Warren Gatland's Lions assistants for next summer's tour of Australia.

England's defence specialist Farrell will join the Lions backroom staff for the first time, while compatriot Rowntree and Wales attack coach Howley reprise the roles they filled on the 2009 trip to South Africa.

As expected there is no place for Shaun Edwards, the defence coach who has a long history of working with Gatland and will instead accompany Wales to Japan next summer.

Gatland said: "I am delighted with the appointments and confident that Rob, Graham, Andy and myself can come together quickly to face one of the hardest rugby challenges.

"We have no illusion as to the hard work required but we have spoken of the challenges and truly believe that as a coaching team we can provide the players with the support and environment needed for victory in Australia.

Gatland announces Lions staff

"We will also discuss over the coming weeks the requirement for any further technical assistance."

Lions manager Andy Irvine said: "This is an exciting day and the next chapter in the 2013 tour story. The selection of the coaching staff is significant, this experienced trio have proven track records and we are delighted to have them on board.

"Importantly I believe we now have in the tour management team, in the areas of coaching, logistics, media, performance analysis and medical, continuity from previous tours, especially 2009."

Lancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster sent his congratulations to Rowntree and Farrell and said the appointment of his two England assistants was a testament to their work ethic.

Lancaster commented in an Rugby Football Union statement: "I am delighted for Andy and Graham. They have worked hard to achieve this honour and it is a credit to them, the England team and the RFU that they have been asked to coach the best players from the Home Unions.

"We wish them and the Lions every success."

England will have five representatives in total involved in the Lions coaching and management teams, including senior physiotherapist Phil Pask, national fitness coach Paul Stridgeon and senior England teams media manager Dave Barton.

The Lions begin the tour with a match against the Barbarians on June 1 in Hong Kong, before five warm-up matches down under ahead of the first of three Tests against the Wallabies.

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